Posted by: will | May 23, 2006

Drive-By Truckers…


Drive-By Truckers "A Blessing And A Curse" (New West)

Punk rock and country have much more in common than many people on both sides would like to admit. Growing up a jaded punk rocker "country" was certainly a term that made me cringe. However, as I've grown older I have come to realize that the struggles that artists in each genre speak about certainly parallel each other. As with many of the top alt-country bands out there the Drive-By Truckers roots definitely stem from punk rock.

I was a late arrival to the Drive-By Truckers bandwagon. Better late than never though. A Blessing And A Curse is the seventh album for Drive-By Truckers and it is full of the usual southern rockers and crying in your beer ballads. One of the unique elements to this band is the fact that you have three talented singer/songwriters in the group. With that being the case, it is hard to think a Drive-By Truckers album will ever sound stale. A Blessing And A Curse is a testament to that. It is yet another outstanding outing for the band.

As usual on Drive-By Truckers albums, A Blessing And A Curse is littered with descriptive and engaging tales of the South and lost love. Nobody describes it better than guitarist/vocalist Patterson Hood who is credited with six of the album's eleven songs and is the band's chief songwriter. Hood's songs are noticeably the strongest on A Blessing And A Curse. The fifth track, "Goodbye" and the album's closer, "A World Of Hurt", are as incredibly sad and affecting songs as one can conjure up. The two other singer/songwriters in the band, Mike Cooley and Jason Isbell are certainly no slouches though. Each contribute two songs of their own to the album. Isbell's "Daylight" is one of the standout songs on the album. It highlights his vocals which are arguably the best of the three. Cooley's "Space City" is a beautifully downtrodden tune that is led by his stoic southern voice. The Drive-By Truckers triple threat is something special to behold.

So, don't be scared off by any Lynard Skynard comparisons. The Drive-By Truckers brand of rock does a body and soul good. Hell, if you are going to succomb to it, you might as well do it while listening to one of the best. Drive-By Truckers certainly fit the bill. Hood states in the last line of "A World Of Hurt" that It's great to be alive. Frankly, after listening to A Blessing And A Curse as much as I have lately, it is surely hard to argue with him.

RIYL: Lynard Skynard, The Replacements, Neil Young & Crazy Horse

Listen: Drive-By Truckers – Feb 14 (mp3)



  1. […] And speaking of The Truckers, the band is about to begin recording the follow up to A Blessing and A Curse without Isbell. The album came in at #7 on my Top 40 of 2006. You can read the review here. […]

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