Origin: Athens, Georgia
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The Drive-By Truckers are an alternative country/Southern rock band based in Athens, Georgia, though two of five current members (Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley) are originally from The Shoals region of northern Alabama, and the band strongly identifies with Alabama.
An assortment of musicians joined briefly over their first three albums in their first three years. Touring relentlessly sharpened the sound of the DBT’s with a decided rock emphasis.
Their breakthrough release was 2001’s double album, Southern Rock Opera, which weaves the history of Lynyrd Skynyrd into a narrative about a fictitious rock band called Betamax Guillotine. The story unfolds within the context of the South during the 1970s.
Southern Rock Opera was originally released independently on the Drive-By Truckers own Soul Dump Records in 2001 and garnered praise from fans and critics alike. To meet the new demand brought on by a four-star review in Rolling Stone, SRO was reissued by Mercury and Lost Highway Records in July 2002. Soon after, Drive-By Truckers were named Band of the Year by the alt-country music review, No Depression. The band’s constant touring has further developed its dedicated following.
Jason Isbell joined the multi-guitar attack on the next three records: Decoration Day, The Dirty South, A Blessing and a Curse, plus a collection of B-sides and rarities. Isbell left in 2007 to pursue a solo after four years with the DBT’s.
In late 2009, Barr Weissman released a documentary on the Drive-By Truckers entitled The Secret To A Happy Ending. The film follows the band over three particularly straining years of their career, and captures their near break up, as well as the departure of Jason Isbell from the band. A technical note: like many alternative country acts, the Drive-By Truckers record in analog using 2 inch, 16-track open-reel tape recorders.
The DBT’s released their 11th album, American Band, on September 30, 2016. The album featured the same line-up as the previous English Oceans album; it also featured the most activist oriented lyrics of the band’s career. In November 2017, they released the politically charged single “The Perilous Night,” showing a continuation of their increased focus on protest songs.
Which should be no surprise, because according to the band’s online bio, “Drive-By Truckers have always been outspoken, telling a distinctly American story via craft, character, and concept, all backed by sonic ambition and social conscience.”
Southern pride, smart lyrics and a three-guitar front line have enabled The Drive-by Truckers to become one of the most well-respected alternative country-rock acts of the 2000s. Which explains the reasons we spin the band’s latest single on K-ZAP 93.3 FM and stream at K-ZAP.ORG/LISTEN/. Hear it now by playing the video below.
Pizza Deliverance (1999)
Southern Rock Opera (2001)
Decoration Day (2003)
The Dirty South (2004)
A Blessing and a Curse (2006)
Brighter Than Creation’s Dark (2008)
The Big To-Do (2010)
Go-Go Boots (2011)
English Oceans (2014)
American Band (2016)