Drive-By Truckers The Dirty South

Drive-By Truckers The Dirty South
Somewhere in rock heaven, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Ronnie Van Zant is surely smiling, left with a perma-grin due to this new offering by his Southern brethren, the Drive-By Truckers. One thing is certain: these Alabama boys wave the Southern rock flag with fervour. The Drive-By Truckers last album, Decoration Day, made many critical best of lists in 2003, and early indications are that The Dirty South will add to this acclaim. Here, this five-piece return to their Alabama roots. The disc was recorded in hometown, Muscle Shoals, home to the historic FAME Recording Studio. For these sessions, new Trucker — bassist Shonna Tucker, a veteran of the Muscle Shoals scene — adds an extra layer to the Truckers’ scorching sound. This boisterous band feels no need to hide the stories that are part of their hometown’s history. Instead, through 14 songs that pack enough punch to collectively awake the spirits’ of Southern rockers long dead, they chronicle the facts, fiction and the "faction” that is the American South. The hard-hitting "Where the Devil Don’t Stay” kicks off the album like a firecracker, exploding from the speakers with its grinding guitars while the acoustic gem "Tornadoes” follows. Other highlights include "Carl Perkins’ Cadillac” and "The Day John Henry Died.” With three talented songwriters (Patterson Hood, Jason Isbell and Mike Cooley) fronting the band, it’s hard for these truckers to hit any flats. Hood, in his well-crafted liner-note essay entitled "Greetings from the Dirty South,” leaves listeners with this simple advice, "Turn it up to 10 and rip off the knob.” (New West)