Sunday, August 9, 2009

Drive By Truckers - The Fine Print (A Collection Of Oddities and Rarities 2003-2008)

Drive By Truckers have been pounding it out for years now with an intensity rivaling punk bands half their age, but without the benefit of rich parents, trust funds and/or showcase nightmares like Warped Tour. Their success has been at the expense of livers, lungs, marriages and record contracts, not to mention band members. The Fine Print collects most of the b-sides and castoffs from their recent (perhaps now over?) New West tenure in a single handy cd collection.

For this asshole, the record is worth it for the opening pair of songs: George Jones Cell Phone Talking Blues has floated around Hood solo shows for years now and the cover of Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers Rebels has made the same Bigfoot-esque level of frequency. Having them is easily available form is a very good thing. Here's the rest of the track listing:

1. George Jones Talkin’ Cell Phone Blues
2. Rebels
3. Uncle Frank (alternate version)
4. TVA
5. Goode’s Field Road (alternate version)
6. The Great Car Dealer War
7. Mama Bake A Pie (Daddy Kill A Chicken)
8. When The Well Runs Dry
9. Mrs. Claus’ Kimono
10. Play It All Night Long
11. Little Pony And The Great Big Horse
12. Like A Rolling Stone

Personally, I wondered how much of the material would be from Jason Isbell. His "here's your hat, where's your hurry?" departure from the band and divorce from DBT bassist Shonna Tucker have resulted in Isbell's work being expunged from the DBT live canon. He has but a single track here, in the form of the stellar TVA. Tellingly, it follows an alternate version of DBT co-leader Mike Cooley's Uncle Frank. Both songs address the same issue from different sides. Doing the math, Isbell is gone while Cooley is still around, so it would appear that their differences may have run deeper than the average person could see from the outside. Interpersonal speculation aside, The Fine Print is better and more cohesive than the records most band's releases, even if there are four different singers. Pre-order it from New West here and keep tabs on the new record DBT is allegedly recording here.


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