The Drive-By Truckers’ 20 best songs, from wicked to freakin’ awesome

By Steve Newton

So far I’ve posted these wacky “20 best songs” lists for some of my fave bands from the ’70s, including Deep Purple, Alice Cooper, Aerosmith, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Black Sabbath, Robin Trower, Van Halen, AC/DC, Blue Oyster Cult, and Thin Lizzy.

When I decided to compile one for the Drive-By Truckers, who are my fave band right now, it was particularly tough deciding which tunes would make the cut. That’s what happens when a group’s lineup has included not one, not two, but three brilliant singer-songwriters: Mike Cooley, Jason Isbell, and Patterson Hood.

God damn are those guys good.

20. “First Air of Autumn” (English Oceans, 2014)

19. “Filthy and Fried” (American Band, 2016)

18. “Perfect Timing” (Brighter Than Creation’s Dark, 2008)

17. “Uncle Frank” (Pizza Deliverance, 1999)

16. “Outfit” (Decoration Day, 2003)

15. “Gravity’s Gone” (A Blessing and a Curse, 2006)

14. “Guns of Umpqua” (American Band, 2016)

13. “Space City” (A Blessing and a Curse, 2006)

12. “Self Destructive Zones” (Brighter Than Creation’s Dark, 2008)

11. “Girls Who Smoke” (The Big To-Do, 2010, vinyl-only bonus track)

10. “Zip City” (Southern Rock Opera, 2001)

9. “Decoration Day” (Decoration Day, 2003)

8. “Two Daughters and a Beautiful Wife” (Brighter Than Creation’s Dark, 2008)

7. “Primer Coat” (English Oceans, 2014)

6. “Never Gonna Change” (The Dirty South, 2004)

5. “The Righteous Path” (Brighter Than Creation’s Dark, 2008)

4. “Carl Perkins’ Cadillac” (The Dirty South, 2004)

3. “When the Well Runs Dry” (The Fine Print: A Collection of Oddities and Rarities, 2011)

2. “Birthday Boy” (The Big To-Do, 2010)

1. “A Ghost to Most” (Brighter Than Creation’s Dark, 2008)


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