The Drive-By Truckers are easy to mistake for an unruly southern band,
seemingly full of loud guitars and rednecks. At least, that’s what the
band might look like to an outsider who throws nothing more than a quick
glance at the Truckers. Open the book, though, and there’s a band full
of songwriters who make it their business to lay their hearts bare, and
musicians who are well aware that less is so often more, save for in those
occasions where more is the only logical conclusion.
Patterson Hood is one of the band’s two hearts—co-founder Mike
Cooley being the other—and he has a gift as a songwriter who can be
gruff, sensitive and sometimes even literary. Words aren’t wasted in
Hood’s hands, and neither is the groove, as he seems to understand
implicitly the necessity of combining both elements into a song, allowing the
two to weave around each other until they become one, and that’s
exactly what he’s done on this free download that’s being offered
up just in time for the American election day. The eight-minute track is
something that Hood wrote a week after the 2004 Presidential election, which
is why he chose to release it right now when his country is poised on the
brink of what Hood hopes is change.
The song trips along on a slow bass groove, an organ singing out while the
guitar drops some soul licks throughout and Hood recites the lyrics.
It’s good, if not brilliant, and it demonstrates just how powerful the
medium of music can still be when it comes to getting an opinion out. And,
thankfully, Hood lets the song tell the story, never revealing the intent
outright, instead leaving it to simmer where the listener has to stir it up a
little and follow along until the end comes creeping up and the truth comes
It’s nice to hear Hood taking advantage of the Internet as a tool
for getting his music out there, and making his voice heard in an interesting
and Aunt Phyllis in the Month After the Election”
Download the track at pattersonhood.com.