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.

Blank Range is Happily Bummed Out

Grant Gustafson laughs a lot. He laughs when describing how him and Jon Childers, the other guitarist in Blank Range, started writing songs at different stages in life (“Jon was definitely interested in that earlier on, so we strike a good balance”). He laughs when I point out that a chunk of their Facebook posts promote other artists (“Hmm”). He laughs after revealing the name of Blank Range’s homegrown cassette label, (“Yeah, we call it Sturdy Girls Records”).

Lee Bains Has His Own Songs of the South

Lynyrd Skynyrd sang “Sweet Home Alabama,” but other Alabaman bands have more ambiguous relationships with their home state. The Drive-By Truckers made that inheritance—Skynyrd included—the heart of their two-CD Southern Rock Opera, and Lee Bains III and The Glory Fires’ new Dereconstructed addresses his own mixed emotions. Some critics have referred to his music as southern rock, but he’s not so sure.