Drive-By Truckers @ Cannery Ballroom, Nashville, Tenn. 8/6/2009

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Drive-By Truckers play Cannery Ballroom, Nashville, Aug. 6, 2009.

(Photos by Avalon Peacock)

During their Thursday night show at the Cannery Ballroom in Nashville, Drive-By Truckers singer Patterson Hood announced that the band had recently lost its oldest fan: a 94-year-old woman. He then made a plea for those in attendance to live long enough to see old age.

This sentiment seemed to belie the band’s long-standing reputation for fatalism. Many of the Truckers’ songs are drenched in blood, and the characters they sing about aren’t exactly banking on Social Security. So it was nice to hear that the band has rejected the famous Neil Young maxim: “Better to burn out than fade away.”

Back in the day, the Truckers used to guzzle Jack Daniels on stage like it was PBR. But Hood and singer Mike Cooley are now on the north side of 40, with wives and children even milling around backstage.

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But the band still rocks, despite their “dad status.” On Thursday night, the Truckers delivered a workmanlike set, pulling from their vast back catalogue, with Hood, Cooley and bassist Shonna Tucker trading off on vocals. Ear drums were mutilated, and fists pumped to the dual-guitar attack.

The show anticipated the band’s Sept. 1 release: The Fine Print (A Collection of Oddities and Rarities 2003-2008). Hood sang a cut from the new album, “George Jones Talkin’ Cell Phone Blues,” a tune that recounts the time the country legend ran his SUV into a bridge while chatting his daughter up on the cell. The song urges Jones to hang up and drive: “If you don’t change your ways my friend, you’ll be singing duets with Tammy again.”

Bassist Shonna Tucker and a bottle of Jack.
Bassist Shonna Tucker and a bottle of Jack.
Let there be rock.
Let there be rock.
Patterson Hood growls into the mic.
Patterson Hood growls into the mic.
DBT tries to take it to "11."
DBT tries to take it to "11."

4 Comments

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  1. Drive-By Truckers’ penchant for fatalism certainly struck a chord with me, despite admitting i don’t listen much to their style of music. i was inspired by “Two Daughters And A Beautiful Wife” and created my own interpretation or live remix of it here:

  2. There is a thread that runs through the music that comes out of Muscle Shoals, and it is a thrill for an old guy like me to see it still alive and running through the young bands today. It’s honest, it’s real, and in a certain way, simple. Not simplistic or stupid, but smart simple. Way back in the sixties when so many R&B hits came out of there, hot shots wanted to come down and record there, and secretly thought they’d “show ’em how it was done.” The ones that were posers soon learned that fitting in that pocket is not learned, it’s born.

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