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

North Mississippi Allstars ramp up the rock on 51 Phantom

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 18, 2001 By Steve Newton For last year’s debut CD, Shake Hands With Shorty, the North Mississippi Allstars thoroughly plumbed the catalogues of Mississippi hill-country blues icons Fred McDowell, R.L. Burnside, and Jr. Kimbrough. On their new disc, 51 Phantom, the band took a different tack, including only … Continue reading North Mississippi Allstars ramp up the rock on 51 Phantom

The North Mississippi Allstars debut with that crazy hill-country sound

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 3, 2000 By Steve Newton When North Mississippi Allstars guitarist-vocalist Luther Dickinson calls the Straight from the band’s tour bus in Chicago, he’s all apologetic about missing a scheduled phone interview the day before. Seems that Luther, his drummer brother Cody, and bassist Chris Chew had performed on … Continue reading The North Mississippi Allstars debut with that crazy hill-country sound

Talking Ry Cooder, Ronnie Montrose, and the Allmans with Gov’t Mule’s Warren Haynes

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 12, 1998 By Steve Newton Bluesman Luther Allison, folk-pop troubadour Jeff Buckley, fingerstyle-guitar innovator Michael Hedges, and jazz drummer Tony Williams might seem unlikely heroes for a southern-rock band, but they’re who Gov’t Mule’s new CD, Dose, is dedicated to. Between the time the band started recording Dose … Continue reading Talking Ry Cooder, Ronnie Montrose, and the Allmans with Gov’t Mule’s Warren Haynes

Sister Hazel’s meat-and-potatoes rock is alright by the Allman Brothers

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 28, 1997 As bands sometimes do, Florida guitar-rockers Sister Hazel included snapshots from their youth in the booklet for their latest CD, …Somewhere More Familiar. There are photos of four little kids playing piano, violin, guitar (with a Neil Young headband!), and drums—and one of a smiling tyke … Continue reading Sister Hazel’s meat-and-potatoes rock is alright by the Allman Brothers

Rickey Medlocke on reuniting with Skynyrd, the plane crash, and the rebel flag

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 21, 1997 By Steve Newton October 20, 1977, is a day branded by sadness for southern-rock fans. That’s when Lynyrd Skynyrd’s rented plane, short on fuel, crashed into a Mississippi swamp en route to a gig at Louisiana University. Vocalist Ronnie Van Zant and guitarist Steve Gaines died … Continue reading Rickey Medlocke on reuniting with Skynyrd, the plane crash, and the rebel flag

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

Dickey Betts figures the Allman Brothers transcend generations

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 23, 1992 By Steve Newton Every long-time Allman Brothers fan has a favourite tune by the influential Southern rock band. Some folks tend towards the bluesy slide-guitar riff of “One Way Out”, some go hog-wild when they hear the cascading guitar intro to the band’s biggest hit, “Ramblin’ … Continue reading Dickey Betts figures the Allman Brothers transcend generations

Mike Cooley’s killer songs are back full-bore on Truckers’ latest masterpiece

photo by Tim Bugbee By Steve Newton The Drive-By Truckers are normally described as being based in the musical stronghold of Athens, Georgia, but when the time comes to call guitarist-vocalist Mike Cooley he picks up the phone at his sweet home in Birmingham, Alabama. Cooley has never actually lived in Athens—“It’s kind of a … Continue reading Mike Cooley’s killer songs are back full-bore on Truckers’ latest masterpiece

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

Dickey Betts figures Duane Allman is playing “Dreams” in heaven with Hendrix and the guys from Skynyrd

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 8, 1991 By Steve Newton Back in the halcyon days of the early ’70s, there was a choice collection of albums that one gang of air-guitar-playing Chilliwack Junior High rockheads used to foam over. There was Deep Purple’s Machine Head, J. Geils’ Full House, Alice Cooper’s Billion Dollar Babies, … Continue reading Dickey Betts figures Duane Allman is playing “Dreams” in heaven with Hendrix and the guys from Skynyrd

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 North Mississippi Allstars bring it on home with help from Robert Plant

There's something be said for sticking to your roots, and on their latest album, World Boogie Is Coming, the North Mississippi Allstars really do bring it on home. They went to the heart of the Mississippi hill country on tunes by such area legends as R.L. Burnside, Junior Kimbrough, and Otha Turner, and cranked the authenticity … Continue reading The North Mississippi Allstars bring it on home with help from Robert Plant

The stars came out for Gov’t Mule’s Shout!

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, OCT. 23, 2013 By Steve Newton What do Elvis Costello, Ben Harper, Dr. John, Grace Potter, Steve Winwood, and Dave Matthews have in common? Well, apart from the fact that they’re all certified rock stars in their own right, they each sang lead on a track on Shout!, the new album from … Continue reading The stars came out for Gov’t Mule’s Shout!

Dr. John is still rubbing elbows with the elite

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MARCH 4, 2004 By Steve Newton You learn pretty quickly as a music writer not to put too much faith in recording artists' bios. Once in a while, though, the proclamations heard in those promotional sheets actually turn out to be true. Take the opening line of the current PR blurb … Continue reading Dr. John is still rubbing elbows with the elite

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

Warren Haynes says Dickey Betts and Derek Trucks are “two distinctly different personalities”

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, NOV. 10, 2004 By Steve Newton When original Gov't Mule bassist Allen Woody died of a heart attack in August of 2000, he left a sizable pair of shoes that have taken bandmates Warren Haynes and Matt Abst more than three years to fill. At first, the two remaining members didn't … Continue reading Warren Haynes says Dickey Betts and Derek Trucks are “two distinctly different personalities”