Drive-By Truckers’ Patterson Hood Mines The Past For New Solo Album

Southern gothic singer-songwriter Patterson Hood has a new solo album, but he didn’t have to go it alone. All of his fellow Drive-By Truckers appear on Heat Lightning Rumbles In The Distance, which is due September 11 on ATO Records.

The album’s genesis lies in a book the Truckers frontman started writing back in the early 90s at the age of 27, a loosely fictional account of a difficult time in his life.

While the book was eventually abandoned, Hood, who the AV Club deemed “the best rock ‘n’ roll storyteller to emerge in the past 10 years,” channeled his musings into songs, which were largely finished in 2011.

Says Hood, “The songs begin in the period that the book was set in, but don’t end there, as they really just were the impetus for writing about the life I am living now and contrasting it with the troubled times of two decades ago. It is in some ways the most personal album I’ve ever made. There has always been a lot of me in all of the albums we’ve done, but usually semi-disguised as character sketches and stories, but the first person narrative in this one is pretty firmly rooted in autobiography, albeit in two dramatically differing time periods.”

You can preview the song “Come Back Little Star” below. “I co-wrote it with my dear friend Kelly Hogan,” says Hood, “who also came in to sing it with me. She began the lyrics as a song for our late dear friend Vic Chesnutt and I re-wrote it with the intention of her recording it for her album. She ended up letting me put it on my album and it’s a highlight to me.”

Hood’s previous solo albums include Murdering Oscar (And Other Love Songs) and Killers And Stars.

Heat Lightning Rumbles In The Distance

1. 12:01
2. Leaving Time
3. Disappear
4. Better Off Without
(untold pretties)
After The Damage
7. Better Than The Truth
8. Betty Ford
9. Depression Era
10. Heat Lightning Rumbles In The Distance
11. Come Back Little Star
12. Fifteen Days (Leaving Again)

July 20 Winston-Salem, NC Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art*
July 21 Camden, NJ XPoNential Music Festival*
July 23 Brooklyn, NY Bell House*
Aug 03 Charleston, SC Pour House**
Aug 16 Lexington, KY Lexington Opera House** w/ Todd Snider
Sep 14 Pinnacle, NC Jomeokee Music & Arts Festival*
Oct 12 Austin, TX ACL FESTIVAL*

*denotes shows with Patterson Hood and the Downtown Rumbers
**denotes Patterson Hood solo shows