Oh hey, this is weird, there’s a new Drive-By Truckers record, and it’s good. The Athens, Ga., rockers’ third set in the last four years (moreso if you count 2008’s 19-track Brighter Than Creation’s Dark as a plural, which you probably should, moreso moreso if you could the 2009 rarities set The Fine Print and moreso moreso you-see-where-we’re-going-with-this if you count Potato Hole, their scorching full-length with Booker T.), Go-Go Boots is actually the twin brother of 2010’s “The Big To-Do.” The band knocked out a 25-song recording session, gave the more guns-blazing rockers to the first and saved the dirty, sinful narratives for this one — and as such, it might be a stronger draw for fans of the Truckers’ gifts for digging underneath the streets, bars and bedrooms of Southern America (also northern, western, midwestern and New Hampshire).
Patterson Hood has written two songs since I started typing this review; his “I Do Believe” is a sunny winner and “Go-Go Boots” is a perfect example of the kind of late-night dirt-road narrative he can apparently knock out with the relative ease it takes the rest of us to apply pants; Mike Cooley packs “Cartoon Gold” and “The Weakest Man” with sneaky little bursts of field-wandering wisdom. And Shonna Tucker continues to be a revelation; her sultry, smoky Patty Griffin-referencing vocals on “Dancin’ Ricky” provide a welcome counterpoint to all the manliness. Nice touches: Muscle Shoals-flavored covers of Eddie Hinton’s “Where’s Eddie” (by Shonna) and “Everybody Needs Love” (by Hood). Best touch: The ongoing sense that there’s at least somewhere in America where workmanlike reliability can be its own reward.
- Drive-By Truckers: Go-Go Boots – review (guardian.co.uk)
- Drive-By Truckers – “Go-Go Boots” (Acoustic) Video (stereogum.com)
- Drive-By Truckers Ready to Show Off Their ‘Go-Go Boots’ (theboot.com)