I'm lukewarm on the Drive By Truckers, always have been. If you mention to anyone remotely into alt. country that you are an alt. country fan one of the first few things out of their mouth is something about the DBT's. Finally after hearing that for years I started picking up their cds. I think the first cd of theirs I got was Gangstabilly, despite hating the title. There were a couple tracks on it that I liked. Filed it on the shelf and don't remember pulling it back out too many times after that. Then I picked up Pizza Deliverance and once again, only a few tracks I liked. It wasn't until Decoration Day that I remember spinning the record several times. Marry Me and Your Daddy Hates Me are still two of my favorite Trucker songs. Then I got Southern Rock Opera and Let There Be Rock blew my socks off, but the rest of the album I was only so-so once again. There are moments on all Truckers records of both musical and lyrical brilliance, but they are not fully realized albums of brilliance, in my opinion. I don't go back to them and listen to them over and over like I do with my other favorite alt. country bands. I know there are DBT super fans out that that would punch my lights out for saying that, but I am just telling you where my chips fall with the DBTs.
Fast forwards several years and I picked up Brighter than Creations Dark. Here again I found a reason to not love the DBTs. Too much religion in this one for me. I get that it is a huge part of the alt. country and country music in general, but it isn't for me.
Then last year a friend gave me a copy of The Big To-Do. Over half of the songs on the cd are kick ass in my opinion. So I went to see the Truckers for the first time last year in Tahoe. I though, hey I finally like a whole one of their cds, they are coming close to Reno I should go check 'em out. You know, sometimes when you see a band live it kicks your opinion of them up a notch. That definitely happened for me with the Truckers. The show last year in Tahoe was excellent. I really enjoyed Shonna Tucker and Mike Cooley live. I came to realize that Cooley is my favorite voice in the Truckers. He didn't sing too many tunes at the Tahoe show. I wanted more Cooley in my Truckers show.
Last Wednesday at the Knit that is exactly what I got. It seemed like every other song was a Cooley song. The show at the Knit was perfect timing for me in my continually burgeoning DBT appreciation.
Here is a Truckers write up by one of my favorite authors, Rick Bass.