"American Band," a Very British Band, and Bryson Tiller Wants to Explain

The Drive-By Truckers’ recent albums resembled the output of a mid-career contemporary novelist—well-observed, well-crafted, but slightly dour with differences between them that meant more to the Truckers than their audience. Yesterday I turned to their new album, American Band, to feel some righteous anger, and the album marks a broadening of the band’s stake and focus—one tipped by the album title.

Two Ways to Hear Nathaniel Rateliff, and Other Concerts

Sunday night, Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats played Tipitina’s, and by the end of the night I wasn’t sure what I thought about the show. The band couldn’t wear its collective love of Stax/Volt R&B more obviously if they were all wearing T-shirts from its museum’s gift shop, but for most of the show, I wanted the band to groove harder when the tempos dropped and the songs became more intimate.

The Drive-By Truckers Come Alive

The Drive-By Truckers made their name with 2001’s Southern Rock Opera, but for a few years it seemed like Southern Rock Soap Opera couldn’t be far behind. With the exception of DBT lifers Patterson Hood, Mike Cooley, and long-time drummer Brad Morgan, the band’s lineup has always been in some kind of flux. From the mid-2000s until a few years ago, those changes threatened to weigh the band down.

Last Night: The Truckers Do More with Less

The last time The Drive-By Truckers played Tipitina's, I was worried about their future. The two-night stand couldn't shake a gray mood, partly because singer Patterson Hood had injured his hand and instead of playing guitar, he could only sing and figure out what to do with himself during the instrumental sections. The generally dark material from Go-Go Boots that they were touring didn't help, but musically the band was heavy in the worst way.

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