Drive-By Truckers – The Dirty South

The Dirty South (2004)


1. Where The Devil Don’t Stay 2. Tornadoes 3. The Day John Henry Died 4. Puttin’ People On The Moon 5. Carl Perkins’ Cadillac 6. The Sands Of Iwo Jima 7. Danko/Manuel 8. The Boys From Alabama 9. Cottonseed 10. The Buford Stick 11. Daddy’s Cup 12. Never Gonna Change 13. Lookout Mountain 14. Goddamn Lonely Love


It was a mere nine months ago that I finally completed my senior thesis on this album. Yes, I suppose in theory I could have conceived a child they day I finished and it would probably be born by now. But it still feels like just yesterday I was sitting in my room surrounded by empty PBR cans, Cheez-It crumbs, and months’ worth of random sheets of paper, pecking away at my Casio as I transcribed every fucking rock song in the world. Life’s already going by fast and all that. So forgive me if I feel like revisiting The Dirty South at this particular juncture is like asking Steven Spielberg to begin filming Lincoln 2 tomorrow. That’s impossible. There is no Lincoln 2. Lincoln is fucking dead. There cannot possibly be anything more to film about Lincoln because he is fucking dead.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I consider The Dirty South dead to me now. It’s just that after penning nearly 17,000 words on one album, to say nothing of the transcription work I did for it, I think I’ve pretty much already said everything I could think of to say about it. Maybe in a few years I’ll come up with some new revelations (because this really is one of those albums that’s just that good and keeps revealing new facets of itself to you over time), but for now, well shit, I’m pooped. And to be honest, though The Dirty South will always be one of my favorite albums of all time, I’m a little bit burned out on it right now. You try listening to anything at a near constant clip for nearly three months without getting at least a little bit tired of it, huh?

So where does that leave us, writer and reader, if I have virtually nothing new to say about this album? I’ll tell you where: someplace where I can inform you that, if you’d like to read about The Dirty South, the fifth studio LP by Drive-By Truckers, then you can go read my thesis. Early on in the treatise, I wrote the following:

Patterson dedicated “People Who Died” to Craig, of course, and the hardcore fans in front of him who had waited in line outside for an hour in the cold to get a spot in the rail—myself included—surged forward. In the Truckers’ universe, there’s no better way to commemorate a tragedy than with a couple of beers and a loud rock song. This was a party for Craig. There had been time earlier in the set for angry songs and sad songs about crooked lawmen and cruel bankers and getting by on liquor, guns, and luck. Now we were all busy rocking the fuck out. The best part for me came early in the tune when Patterson stuck his mic in my face and let me belt out the chorus for him. My Truckers vocal debut. It was even more fun than the time I had taken a swig from Patterson’s bottle of Jack Daniel’s a couple of years back. Four nights later in Northampton, Massachusetts, I got to sample keyboardist Jay Gonzalez’s sweet, sweet tasting Patron. You gotta love a band that doesn’t just share some of the finest stories and songs in rock music today with its fans, but for sharing drinks with them too.

If you’re curious what that sounded like, well, it sounded awesome.  Duh. Hear for yourself (1:28-1:32):

People Who Died

See! That totally happened! When I tell stories about myself, I actually make sure they’re true! Suck it, Tim O’Brien!

One Comment

  1. victoid wrote:

    I assume you mean Tim O’Brien the Hot Rize guy and not the author? What should he suck, and why? Hot Rize was good..I seen em a couple times, and their comic alter ego Red Knuckles was even better.

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