DRIVE BY TRUCKERS – ” The Unraveling “

Posted: June 28, 2020 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Image may contain: 5 people, people standing, sky, bridge, shoes and outdoor

The kings of country-rock and outspoken wisdom, Drive-By Truckers, returned this year with their 12th studio album, following 2016’s American Band and the 2018 release of the long-lost Adam’s House Cat album Town Burned Down, which featured Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley recorded before their Truckers days. “The Unraveling” arrives after a prolonged period of writer’s block for Hood and Cooley, easily one of the most impressive song-writing pairs in music’s recent history . On The Unraveling, they pick up right where American Band left off, with searing political commentary and a sharp look at the harsh realities of modern American life. “The past three-and-a-half years were among the most tumultuous our country has ever seen,” Hood said in a press statement, “and the duality between the generally positive state of affairs within our band while watching so many things we care about being decimated and destroyed all around us informed the writing of this album to the core.” And there you have it. It’s a new decade, but the Truckers remain dedicated to the same cause: relaying the truth—no matter how difficult it is to speak—by way of deep-rooted, multifaceted and, perhaps most importantly, southern rock ‘n’ roll.

The longest gap between new Drive by Truckers albums – The Unraveling was recorded at the legendary Sam Phillips Recording Service in Memphis, TN by Grammy Award-winning engineer Matt Ross-Spang (Jason Isbell, Margo Price) and longtime DBT producer David Barbe. Co-founding singer / songwriter / guitarists Mike Cooley and Patterson Hood both spent much of the time prior doing battle with deep pools of writer’s block.

The songs that eventually emerged are among Drive-By Truckers’ most direct and pointedly provocative, tackling the myriad horrors of our new normal through sincere emotion and unbridled heart. Indeed, Armageddon’s Back in Town takes a whirlwind joyride through the whiplash of events we collectively deal with each day while the concluding Awaiting Resurrection dives headfirst into the despair and pain roiled up by these troubled times.

The remarkable songcraft found on The Unraveling receives much of its musical muscle from the sheer strength of the current Drive-By Truckers line-up, with Hood and Cooley joined by bassist Matt Patton, keyboardist / multi-instrumentalist Jay Gonzalez, and drummer Brad Morgan – together, the longest-lasting iteration in the band’s almost 25-year history. The LP also features a number of special guests, including The Shins’ Patti King, violinist/string arranger Kyleen King (Brandi Carlile), and North Mississippi All-Stars’ Cody Dickinson, who contributes electric washboard to the strikingly direct Babies In Cages.

Like 2016’s ‘American Band,’ ‘The Unraveling’ features a scaled-back Drive-By Truckers surveying the America around them. And for the most part they don’t like what they see. There’s anger (“Thoughts and Prayers”) and reflection (“Armageddon’s Back in Town”) here, but mostly there’s a renewed sense of focus and purpose after a few years of excess and bloat. Singers and songwriters Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley once again share the songs, lining up for a portrait of a country in serious need of healing – and this was before the coronavirus and George Floyd.

The Unraveling Drive By Truckers released thru ATO Records.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.