255. Drive-By Truckers – “Dirty South”

This is the first album I have reviewed thus far that I only own in download form.

drive-by truckers album cover the-dirty-southThat seems rather inappropriate somehow, as these guys seem a long way removed from anything digital and new-fangled. This is rootsy Southern rock of the highest order.

This particular album is a thematically consistent collection.  All the tracks tell tales of life down South, with a strong emphasis on the seedy and downtrodden.  The trio of tracks about various crims dealing with a Sheriff of some renown (The Boys From Alabama, Cottonseed, and The Buford Stick all about Buford Pusser) are particularly captivating.

The band is happy to name-check prominent Southerners. Elvis, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, and  Sam Phillips all get a run.

This some wonderful hybrid of Springsteen and Earle in terms of story-weaving, with a sleazy, bar-room feel to the triple guitar backing. The vitriol on PuttinPeople on the Moon would do either aforementioned artists proud:

The one ‘happy’ tune on here, about the joys of car-racing (Daddy’s Cup) almost gets me craving a steering wheel.

It is unforgivable that I am yet to catch these guys live.

File under: Dirty but Beautiful South

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