Album review: Drive-By Truckers, Brighter Than Creation’s Dark (2008)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 20, 2008 By Steve Newton When long-time member (and major songwriting force) Jason Isbell left the Drive-By Truckers last year, some fans worried that the southern rock–influenced alt-country act might falter a step or two. No freakin’ way: it just recruited another wicked guitarist, pedal-steel specialist (and original … Continue reading Album review: Drive-By Truckers, Brighter Than Creation’s Dark (2008)

That time Justin Townes Earle told me that it was Jason Isbell’s songs that made him a big Drive-By Truckers fan

By Steve Newton Very sad to hear the news tonight of the passing of Americana artist Justin Townes Earle. He was a helluva singer-songwriter. I only got to interview him once, back in May of 2009, when he was touring behind his third album, Midnight Movies. Having interviewed his father Steve Earle numerous times, I … Continue reading That time Justin Townes Earle told me that it was Jason Isbell’s songs that made him a big Drive-By Truckers fan

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

Drive-By Truckers guitarist Jay Gonzalez steals the show from Patterson and Cooley in Vancouver

  photos by Jeff Sutherland By Steve Newton The Drive-By Truckers, probably my fave band at the moment–unless I’m in a heavy Gov’t Mule mood–played the Imperial in Vancouver last night, and man were they smokin’. Touring behind their latest album, American Band, they played some of the finest tracks from that disc, including the … Continue reading Drive-By Truckers guitarist Jay Gonzalez steals the show from Patterson and Cooley in Vancouver

The Drive-By Truckers wonder what the hell is wrong with some people

By Steve Newton The Drive-By Truckers have always been a politically minded outfit, but on their brand-new album, American Band, they really waste no time in tackling the big issues of their home country. The opening track, “Ramon Casiano”, tells the fact-based (but little-known) story of former NRA leader Harlon Carter’s shotgun murder, in 1931, … Continue reading The Drive-By Truckers wonder what the hell is wrong with some people

The Drive-By Truckers’ Mike Cooley thinks Donald Trump “might be f***in’ crazy”

john gellman photograph By Steve Newton Drive-By Truckers singer, songwriter, and guitarist Mike Cooley has never been one to pull punches when it comes to politicians who he feels deserve a shot to the head–or a knee to the nuts, for that matter. I’ve been a huge fan of Cooley, and the band as a … Continue reading The Drive-By Truckers’ Mike Cooley thinks Donald Trump “might be f***in’ crazy”

Drive-By Truckers tone down the Skynyrdisms on Decoration Day

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 7, 2003 By Steve Newton Two years ago the Drive-By Truckers took the music world by surprise with Southern Rock Opera, a sprawling, two-CD concept album about ’70s rock and southern U.S. culture that focused on the legend of doomed Dixie rock act Lynyrd Skynyrd. The independent release … Continue reading Drive-By Truckers tone down the Skynyrdisms on Decoration Day

Patterson Hood on the Drive-By Truckers’ Southern Rock Opera and the true meaning of Skynyrd

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 30, 2003 By Steve Newton It doesn’t seem likely in today’s musical climate that any band would record a 90-minute concept album about 1970s rock and southern U.S. culture, focusing on the legend of doomed Dixie rock act Lynyrd Skynyrd. It’s even more unlikely that such a CD … Continue reading Patterson Hood on the Drive-By Truckers’ Southern Rock Opera and the true meaning of Skynyrd

Drive-By Truckers tell of trophy tail wives taking boner-pill rides in Vancouver

photos by the newt By Steve Newton The Drive-By Truckers didn’t play all of my fave DBT tunes at the Vogue last night. For example, there was no “A Ghost to Most”, singer-guitarist Mike Cooley‘s jangley indictment of George Bush’s macho posturing from the sprawling 2008 Brighter than Creation’s Dark album. And neither did I get to hear my … Continue reading Drive-By Truckers tell of trophy tail wives taking boner-pill rides in Vancouver

Drive-By Truckers’ new disc dedicated to loveable merch guy Craig Lieske

Any fan of the Drive-By Truckers is aware of how cool their merchandise is. A lot of it has to do with the southern-goth artistry of Wes Freed, whose work has long been a staple of the band’s album covers, t-shirts, and posters. I’ve got one proudly displayed in my home hallway, as a matter of … Continue reading Drive-By Truckers’ new disc dedicated to loveable merch guy Craig Lieske

Drive-By Truckers captured at its raw and raucous best on Live from Austin TX

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, AUG. 12, 2009 By Steve Newton Drive-By Truckers fans had cause for concern when long-time guitarist-vocalist Jason Isbell—one of the group’s main songwriters, along with cofounding singer-guitarists Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley—decided to leave the southern rock–influenced alt-country band in 2007. But the group simply responded by recruiting guitarist and pedal-steel … Continue reading Drive-By Truckers captured at its raw and raucous best on Live from Austin TX

The Drive-By Truckers prove that “Shit Shots Count” on Conan

photo by the Newt Just saw one of my fave bands, the Drive-By Truckers, tearing it up on the Conan O’Brien Show. They went to town on a song called “Shit Shots Count”, the opening track from their brand new album English Oceans. The tune is written and sung by Mike Cooley, who I like to … Continue reading The Drive-By Truckers prove that “Shit Shots Count” on Conan

The ghost of Buford Pusser rises on the Drive-By Truckers’ Dirty South

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, OCT. 21, 2004 By Steve Newton On the back of the booklet that comes with the Drive-By Truckers’ latest CD, The Dirty South, there’s a photo of a bare-chested toddler standing in front of Buford Pusser’s gravestone. For the uninitiated, Pusser was the Tennessee sheriff whose brutal approach to law ‘n’ … Continue reading The ghost of Buford Pusser rises on the Drive-By Truckers’ Dirty South

Drive-By Truckers capture a raw, backwoods vibe

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JUNE 25, 2008 By Steve Newton Along with the kind of gritty, triple-guitar southern rock their fans adore, the Drive-By Truckers are known for delivering the goods in the album-art department. For the last seven years, their recordings have featured the southern-gothic work of Virginia-based Wes Freed, whose dark depictions of … Continue reading Drive-By Truckers capture a raw, backwoods vibe

Drive-By Truckers make a departure

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MARCH 9, 2011 By Steve Newton Last year the Drive-By Truckers released The Big To-Do, a raucous collection of southern-fried alt-country tunes highlighted by the exuberant single “Birthday Boy”. A totally different vibe typifies the band’s new album, Go-Go Boots, which is surprising since its material was recorded during the same sessions as … Continue reading Drive-By Truckers make a departure

That time I made Gary Moore laugh by asking what drives him

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed scads of incredible guitarists over the years, but I can’t think of any more amazing than Gary Moore. Everything about his playing just blew me away. So I was mighty psyched when I did my one and only interview with him way back on May 11, 1984. At the time … Continue reading That time I made Gary Moore laugh by asking what drives him

Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s Randy Bachman once tried paying a surprise visit to Stephen King

By Steve Newton Hardcore fans of Stephen King are aware that he used the pen name Richard Bachman for a number of his early novels because he was a huge fan of Bachman-Turner Overdrive. But not many BTO fans know that the band’s founding guitarist, Randy Bachman, once went looking for King in the horror … Continue reading Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s Randy Bachman once tried paying a surprise visit to Stephen King

Josh Homme’s grinding overdrive helps Screaming Trees wake up Vancouver on a Sunday night

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 20, 1997 Last Sunday night (March 16) I had three pretty good reasons for not wanting to drag my butt off a comfy couch and head downtown in the rain to review a rock show at the Rage. First off, I was tuckered out after the previous night’s … Continue reading Josh Homme’s grinding overdrive helps Screaming Trees wake up Vancouver on a Sunday night