More Great Stories of the Underdog from Drive-By Truckers

In its new album “American Band,” the band still rocks like a cross between Neil Young and Lynyrd Skynyrd.


Drive-By Truckers
American Band
ATO

Courtesy of ATO Records

Yes, yet another great Drive-By Truckers album. With uncommon consistency, this Georgia-spawned band has been telling stories of the underdog with genuine empathy and keen wit for a good two decades, rocking like a cross between Neil Young and Lynyrd Skynyrd, topped off by a bracing splash of electric Dylan for good measure. One big reason for their continuing vitality has been Patterson Hood’s willingness in recent years to share singing and songwriting duties on a more equal basis with fellow DBT founder Mike Cooley. The two complement each other nicely: With a woeful twang in his voice that lends itself to rueful lamentation, Hood could be a wayward honky-tonk singer, while the more stoic Cooley suggests an earnest folkie seduced by the big beat. But the real attraction, as always, is the material. Check out Cooley’s boogie-fied “Kinky Hypocrite,” a scornful look at “the greatest separators of fools from their money,” or Hood’s mournful “What It Means,” a post-Ferguson report from “the precipice of prejudice and fear.” Or any other track on the uniformly excellent American Band

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