Monday, April 24, 2006

Drive-By Truckers

As if my simple recommendation weren't enough to bestow greatness upon them, my friend Pierre over at Loser's Guide has asked me what it is that I like about the music of Drive-By Truckers...
Umm, well, they have a cool name, don't you think? And they're from the South (Alabama, I think), and boys from down there have always made some good shit-kickin' rock 'n' roll. These guys make some damn good rock 'n' roll, too, but there's a little more going on than simple shit-kickin', Old Glory-waving southern rock. It took me a few listens over a few years to realize it (actually I had an epiphany a couple of weeks ago while listening to the album Decoration Day after drinking about 10 beers), but Drive-By Truckers have a lot of interesting things to say about being from and living in the South and about life in general. I don't usually pay too much attention to song lyrics unless they're really good or really bad. These guys have very good, intelligent and thoughtful lyrics. They sing about, for example, the "duality of the 'southern thing'" (pride and shame), economic hardship and the divide between rich and poor, and personal relationships. Their lyrics, I think, are always life-affirming and heavy with themes of reconciliation and redemption. (Note to self: don't mention Faulkner or readers will think you're showing off...) Musically, Drive-By Truckers sound like a hybrid of Neil Young and Lynyrd Skynyrd spiced with some Stones and a bit of punk.
As a young guy growing up in a small town in Nova Scotia, me and my buddies listened to a lot of southern rock bands. The Allman Brothers Band, The Marshall Tucker Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd saw us through many a drunken evening. We paid for our beer with hard-earned unemployment cheques. The Atlantic provinces are the 'poor' part of Canada. But it wasn't always like that. The Maritimes used to be the 'civilized' part of Canada. I wouldn't go so far as to make a direct comparison to the American South (for many obvious reasons), but it's no mystery to me if the songs of some good southern rock bands somehow resonate within me.

1 comment:

  1. You reminded of an Album title by Australian band, This Is Serious Mum - "Great Trucking Songs opf the Renaissance"