Tag Archives: Patterson Hood

cat_reviews

Drive-By Truckers Raise a Passionate, Poignant Racket on Friday Night

February 13th, 2017

Drive-By Truckers – Westbury Theater – February 10, 2017

93-exxl
In their earlier days, Drive-By Truckers were tagged alt-country, Southern rock and even country rock, but let’s call them what they are: no-bullshit rock and roll, anxious and unfiltered, and on their best nights, one of the best live bands of the last two decades. Still more remarkable is that despite major lineup changes, they seem to get better and better, the old songs aging gracefully but with more than a bit of veteran grizzle, and the new songs finding darkness, humor and poignancy in quotidian angst without sounding topical for topical’s sake or shading (too far anyway) into rock-protest sanctimony. Truckers characters are people you know: lived-in, loaded and lumpy. Their problems are your problems. Their shots at redemption are understandable and their failures disappointing.

This mature balance—the ability to be present and unflinchingly direct about news making matters of the age without being thin or pedantic—is so crucial to the current Truckers tour, filled with set lists that focus heavily on last year’s American Band, their most overtly political album. In Westbury, Patterson Hood, Mike Cooley and Co. gave us hails of guitar, clattering drums and passionate vocals that came from somewhere deep to frame stories of shootings in Oregon on a beautifully sunny day (“Guns of Umpaqua”), an ill-fated Mexican teenager (“Ramon Casiano”) and the long-lingering ghosts of the Civil War (“Surrender Under Protest”). Some of these songs (“Darkened Flags on the Cusp of Dawn” or “What It Means,” which addresses racism head-on) didn’t require much interpretation. Many were loud, with a sticking finger in your chest, although still others, such as Cooley’s “Once They Banned Imagine,” included acoustic guitars and had the world-weariness of protest-folk without decoupling from the band’s rambling, gnarly rock-ness. And it’s worth noting that politically potent Truckers tunes with a “to hell with this crap” edge aren’t anything new: “Puttin’ People on the Moon,” played fourth, is more than a decade old and its small-town family tragedy has never felt more acute. Same deal with “Sinkhole,” the Truckers’ epic of social class, murder and family values.

As they’ve gotten leaner—the band is now Hood, Cooley, drummer Brad Morgan, multi-instrumentalist Jay Gonzalez and bassist Matt Patton—Drive-By Truckers have gotten meaner, filling more space with paint-peeler guitar solos and working up huge, rambunctious rackets. What’s never quite changed is how they pace a show—peaks and valleys of hard-rocking defiance and melancholy resignation that eventually give way to a runaway train of concert warhorses and an explosive finale. The last 30 minutes on Friday night served up the wry-sad “Buttholeville” with a dovetail into Bruce Springsteen’s “State Trooper,” along with “Zip City” and “What It Means.” “Love Like This,” Hood’s fist-pumping “Let There Be Rock” (greasy with the saluted nostalgia of the Truckers’ many forebears, from AC/DC to the Replacements) and the anthemic “Shut Up and Get on the Plane.” Hood told us there would be no encore—they haven’t played any on this tour, choosing to barrel through rather than pause, lest any of the loaded tension dissipate too soon—and the Truckers left with “Grand Canyon” and its protracted guitar meltdown. It was ragged and right, as the Truckers always are. —Chad Berndtson | @Cberndtson

 

cat_reviews

Drive-By Truckers Turn Up All the Way at Music Hall of Williamsburg

March 7th, 2016

Drive-By Truckers – Music Hall of Williamsburg – March 6, 2016

1440408579_11698828_881747175211867_3120786976587914749_o
(Drive-By Truckers play Music Hall of Williamsburg again tonight and there are very few tickets remaining.)

Seems hard to believe that Drive-By Truckers have been doing their thing for 20 years now, and it’s even harder to believe that they’ve been able to maintain the same high level of rocking over that period. Judging by their limit-testing, sold-out show at Music Hall of Williamsburg last night, there is really only one level that they can operate at, and that is turned up all the way. They took the stage shortly after 9, facing the audience, arms raised, triumphant for the musical victories of the last two decades and the one they were about to declare over the amped full house. The Truckers opened the set with “Tornadoes,” off their The Dirty South album from 2004, lead singer Patterson Hood’s distinctive Southern voice already competing with everyone in the crowd singing along at the top of their lungs.

While the backdrop behind the band was the cover art for their 2014 release, English Oceans, the set list covered an even distribution of their vast catalog. “Sink Hole” was an early highlight, showing off the Truckers’ ability to mix layered storytelling with three-guitar Southern-rock rage, both the lyrics and the jamming more complicated than they might appear at first. Hood’s voice is perfect for spinning yarns, and he took several opportunities to go off on tangents, whether it be talking about sneaking out to see Bruce Springsteen when he was a kid or remotely yelling at his mother (and maybe, by extension, the rest of the country), “Mama, if you’re listening on the Internet right now … if you vote for Donald Trump, you’re going to a fucking nursing home!” New songs off an upcoming album fit right in with the old material, “Ever South” was particularly strong with an extragroovy kick from the bass and electric piano.

By the set’s closeout section, the guitars were turned up all the way and the crowd was good and rowdy. Drive-By Truckers rewarded their energy with a sprawling six-song encore that added an extra 30 minutes to the performance. And “Let There Be Rock” seemed to encapsulate the room’s mood, a song for those who would rock out for more than two hours on a Sunday night without worry about the Monday to come, almost everyone in the audience pumping their fist as they sang along with Hood. The band finished with “Angels and Fuselage,” which built to one last droning jam before each band member left, one at a time, triumphant once again, another victorious night in a long career filled with them. —A. Stein | @Neddyo

cat_reviews

A Special Night of Southern Rock with Drive-By Truckers on Friday

October 20th, 2014

Drive-By Truckers – Beacon Theatre – October 17, 2014

600x600
In all its majestic glory, the Beacon Theatre has a way of making rock shows feel special. As the go-to venue for any local Allman Brothers Band show (and reportedly their final one), this may hold especially true for Southern rock. It was certainly the case on Friday. Following a fantastic opening set from the Alabama soul outfit St. Paul and the Broken Bones, there wasn’t a single butt sitting in one of the venue’s seats. And it was pretty much that way for the next several hours as Drive-By Truckers performed. “Today’s one of those days where your real life exceeds the life you dreamed of,” said Patterson Hood.

Drive-By Truckers are a band that never seems to stop gaining momentum. And if these aren’t the group’s golden years, there still hasn’t been a time when they’ve had more loyal fans. Led by Hood and Mike Cooley, two songwriters who seem to keep getting better, DBT brought out everything you’d expect, leaving no stone unturned: Great songs about Southern tragedies, “Puttin’ People on the Moon” from Hood and “Uncle Frank” from Cooley, to fan favorites like “Women Without Whiskey” to deep cuts like “Runaway Train,” from Cooley and Hood’s first band, Adam’s House Cat.

Of course, there were also the rousing sing-alongs, like the one that accompanied “Hell No, I Ain’t Happy.” Hood added in an epilogue of “I’m fuckin’ happy” at the end, as if to let everyone know that the song wasn’t a real-time account. There were some epic tales of Hood family history leading into “Box of Spiders,” a song about Hood’s great grandmother, who loved going to strangers’ funerals. The night closed with “Grand Canyon,” off their latest album, English Oceans, and then one by one everyone in the band waved goodnight and exited the stage. —Dan Rickershauser

cat_preview

A Friday Night Rock Show with Drive-By Truckers at Beacon Theatre

October 15th, 2014

Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley founded Drive-By Truckers in Athens, Ga., in 1996. Over the years the two musicians—plus nuanced lyrics and plenty of guitar—have been the constant while the lineup around them has changed. An early Internet presence allowed the band to gain new fans before they’d ever seen the Truckers live. But following several years of steadily touring, the group released the double album Southern Rock Opera (stream it below) and things really took off from there. Since gaining wider acclaim the Truckers (above, playing “Shit Shots Count”) have served as the backing band on albums by Bettye LaVette and Booker T. Jones in addition to putting out fine discs of their own, including 2011’s Go-Go Boots (stream it below) and this year’s English Oceans (stream it below). The Guardian, in a rave review, says it’s “full of their familiar Southern rock: soul and brass occasionally adorn storytelling songs, which attempt to right wrongs and champion the worker against the Man. However, sharing singer-songwriting duties equally between founders Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley for the first time has brought out the best in both.” Drive-By Truckers are now out on the road in support of their tenth album and, alongside the terrific Birmingham, Ala., seven-piece soul outfit St. Paul and the Broken Bones, they play the Beacon Theatre on Friday night.

cat_preview

Drive-By Truckers Impress with New Music at Terminal 5

March 21st, 2014

Drive-By Truckers – Terminal 5 – March 20, 2014

Drive-By Truckers - Terminal 5 - March 20, 2014
There are exceptions, but many of the best rock bands tend to be led by two heads, working with an energy that falls somewhere between collaboration and friendly competition. Drive-By Truckers have 18 years under their belt with not a bad album to their name. This has a heck of a lot to do with a friendship and musical partnership that’s even older than the band: Mike Cooley and Patterson Hood have really come to terms with being the songwriting yin and yang of their band.

Much of the praise heaped upon the band’s 10th full-length release, English Oceans, remarked on how the songwriting contributions between the two had moved toward a 50/50 split. This is felt in their live shows maybe even more so, with the two trading singing duties on every other song. It’s hard to prefer one over the other, and if you’re tortured enough to make that decision than you can consider yourself a true Drive-By Truckers fan. Their set last night at Terminal 5 began with three new songs, “Primer Coat,”The Part of Him” and “Til He’s Dead or Rises.”

“Lookout Mountain” was the perfect transition from Hood’s graveled vocals into a sludgy guitar jam. How exactly he’s been able to tour for nearly 20 years singing the way he does without spitting out blood at the end of every show is one of Southern rock’s greatest mysteries, but it also provides one of the genre’s rawest voices, a perfect accompaniment to the band. DBT classics “Ronnie and Neil,” “The Living Bubba” and the sing-along friendly “Hell No I Ain’t Happy” must be particularly taxing on his vocals. Hood’s voice has made it this long, as has the band, through turmoil, lineup changes and everything in between. But they can’t let it die now, ’cause they got another show. —Dan Rickershauser

Photos courtesy of JC McIlwaine | jcmcilwaine.com

cat_preview

Double Your Pleasure with Drive-By Truckers and Blitzen Trapper

March 19th, 2014

Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley founded Drive-By Truckers in Athens, Ga., in 1996. Over the years the two musicians—plus nuanced lyrics and plenty of guitar—have been the constant while the lineup around them has changed. An early Internet presence allowed the band to gain new fans before they’d ever seen the Truckers live. But following several years of steadily touring, the group released the double album Southern Rock Opera (stream it below) and things really took off from there. Since gaining wider acclaim the Truckers (above, playing “Shit Shots Count” on Conan) have served as the backing band on albums by Bettye LaVette and Booker T. Jones in addition to putting out fine discs of their own, including 2011’s Go-Go Boots (stream it below) and the recently released English Oceans (stream it below). The Guardian, in a rave review, says it’s “full of their familiar Southern rock: soul and brass occasionally adorn storytelling songs, which attempt to right wrongs and champion the worker against the Man. However, sharing singer-songwriting duties equally between founders Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley for the first time has brought out the best in both.” Drive-By Truckers are now out on the road in support of their new album, alongside Americana-infused rockers Blitzen Trapper, and you can see them both tomorrow night at Terminal 5.

cat_preview

A Double Dose of Southern Rock This Weekend

March 13th, 2013

Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley founded Drive-By Truckers in Athens, Ga., in 1996. Over the years the two musicians—plus nuanced lyrics and plenty of guitar—have been the constant while the lineup around them has changed. An early Internet presence allowed the band to gain new fans before they’d ever seen the Truckers live. But following several years of steadily touring, the group released the double album Southern Rock Opera and things really took off from there. Since gaining wider acclaim the Truckers (above, playing “Let There Be Rock”) have served as the backing band on albums by Bettye LaVette and Booker T. Jones in addition to putting out fine discs of their own, including 2011’s Go-Go Boots (stream it below). But to really experience this band, you need to see them live, which you’ve got two chances to do this weekend when Drive-By Truckers—and Old 97’s—play Capitol Theatre on Friday and The Wellmont Theatre on Saturday.

cat_reviews

Patterson Hood Hits Crowd with Lyrics Then Guitar

June 24th, 2009

Patterson Hood and the Screwtopians – Music Hall of Williamsburg – June 23, 2009

(Photo: Adam Smith)

(Photo: Adam Smith)

Patterson Hood is one of those rare songsmiths who will get you to lean in closer so you can better hear the words he’s singing and then, once you’re within range, smack you silly in the face with some heavy-duty guitar. Such is the case with the Drive-By Truckers and such was the case last night at Music Hall of Williamsburg with his current side project, the Screwtopians. One minute I was straining to catch Hood’s lyrics (what was that he sang about “baseball and science”?) the next minute I was straining to catch my balance as guitars, keyboards, drums, bass and pedal steel whipped up a raucous rock.

Personally, I enjoyed it when things got a little quieter on tunes like “The Range of War,” where the lyrics were transmitting clearly and the pedal steel dominated. Then again, I’m a sucker for the pedal steel. Hood explained the project: Dusting off some recently rediscovered 15-year-old tunes riddled with the anger of a barely employed recent divorcée and then “responding” to them with new material written by the same guy 10 years later in anticipation of the birth of his first child.

The Screwtopians had all the earmarks of a side project with friends from other groups filling in the backing band and guitar players turning away from the audience to rock out, more like buddies in a garage having fun than a band trying to earn its keep. Perhaps the best part was the fact that Will Johnson from Centro-matic was in it—not necessarily for his playing in the Screwtopians, but for the fact that he was in the house to play an opening set. Johnson held down the stage with just guitar and voice, singing out of the side of his mouth like every song was a whispered secret to the crowd, but a stage whisper at best. His voice—loud, crisp, powerful and soulful—was the best thing going. He concluded with a full-band tune that had me hoping his next side project might be Will Johnson and the Screwtopians. —A. Stein

Contest

Grow a Pair: Win Free Tickets to See Patterson Hood Tonight

June 23rd, 2009

grow_a_pair_trans5

Patterson Hood’s new album, Murdering Oscar (And Other Love Songs), with his newest band, the Screwtopians, is out today. And to celebrate, The House List is giving away two free tickets to tonight’s show at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Just fill out the form below, listing your name, e-mail address, which show you’re trying to win tickets to (Patterson Hood, tonight) and a brief message telling us your favorite Drive-By Truckers song and why. Eddie Bruiser will notify the winner by 5 o’clock. Good luck.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Subject

Your Message

Five Questions With…Patterson Hood (Plus a Bonus MP3 at the Bottom)

June 18th, 2009
Self Portrait

Self Portrait

Patterson Hood was destined to be involved in music. His dad, David Hood, was the bassist for the legendary Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section. And Patterson began writing music before he turned 10 and joined a band before reaching 15. He went on to receive much acclaim as one of the Drive-By Truckers’ founders, songwriters and guitarists. The Truckers have put out several successful albums in addition to serving as the backing band on the sublime soul singer Bettye LaVette’s The Scene of the Crime and, more recently, on Booker T.’s Potato Hole. (Together they performed as Booker T. and the DBT’s in a terrific show last weekend at Bonnaroo.) And as if all of that weren’t enough, Patterson brings a whole new band, the Screwtopians, to Music Hall of Williamsburg next Tuesday (June 23rd) and The Bowery Ballroom next Wednesday (June 24th) in support of Murdering Oscar (And Other Love Songs). In advance of these shows, Patterson was nice enough to answer five questions for The House List.

What’s the last band you paid to see live?
Probably Springsteen in Chicago in ’07. I went to a local show in Athens, Ga., not long ago and paid cover to support the scene.

Which band or bands that you listened to growing up do you still listen to?
Probably most of them. I’m still always seeking out new bands to love, but I still love the old ones, too. At home I have music playing nonstop unless I’m writing. Now I get to play records for my daughter and I get to turn her on to cool music. She loves the Clash, Centro-matic, the Kinks and Dolly Parton. She’s four-and-a-half and has great taste.

Which NYC musician—past or present—would you most like to play with?
Sonic Youth. I’ve been a fanatical fan since around Sister. Tad Kubler and I keep discussing a possible project someday. I’d love to produce a Patti Smith album.

What’s your favorite place in New York City to hang out? And do you ever feel like you could live here?
I’m fond of the Lakeside Lounge and National Underground. I think The Bowery Ballroom is one of the best-sounding rooms in America. Yes, I could definitely live here if I could work out the logistics of commuting for the band and moving my family.

Your after-party is at Hi-Fi, the Avenue A bar known for its endless jukebox, and The House List gives you a buck, what three jams are you playing?
Wilson Pickett’s “Hey Jude,” the Stooges’ “1970” and Curtis Mayfield’s “We People Who Are Darker Than Blue.” —R. Zizmor

Listen to “Pollyanna” off Murdering Oscar (And Other Love Songs)—out next Tuesday.