Modern Bands Every Classic Rock Fan Should Try: Drive-By Truckers
Patterson Hood, the frontman for the Drive-By Truckers, is practically rock royalty. His father, David Hood, was the bassist of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section. Known as the Swampers, they played on or produced hundreds of classic rock and soul records and were name-checked on Lynyrd Skynyrd's 'Sweet Home Alabama.'
Like Ronnie Van Zant before him, Patterson Hood (and Mike "Stroker Ace" Cooley, who contributes a handful of songs per album), chronicles southern life with a novelist's eye for detail, emotion and wit. The DBTs take that connection one step further. Their 2001 breakthrough, 'Southern Rock Opera,' uses Skynyrd’s tragic history as a backdrop to explore what Hood calls 'the duality of the Southern Thing.'
Jason Isbell joined the group on the tour behind 'Southern Rock Opera,' and stayed with the group for three albums, including 2004's 'The Dirty South,' which continues the DBT's fascination with modern-day southern mythology, adding elements like the history of Sun Records and 'Walking Tall' into the equation. Isbell left in 2007 for a solo career and has since released three excellent albums.
Since Isbell's departure, they’ve remained prolific, consistently releasing a solid album every year or so and touring constantly. They’ve become famous for their live shows, where they evoke the spirit of Neil Young and Crazy Horse, with Hood’s tenor voice cutting through a wall of power chords from detuned guitars. They’ve also been known cover anything from 'Even The Losers' and 'Strutter' to the vintage soul and country records they grew up hearing.