Drive By Truckers: The Fine Print

Drive By Truckers
The Fine Print
(New West)

Well, first let’s lay our cards on the table. For this reviewer, Drive By Truckers has been one of the few true bright lights in the celestial skies of rock ‘n’ roll for the last few years. We can go to them and not have to make all kinds of allowances in order to justify why they are good. At their zenith, the writing troika of Patterson Hood, Jason Isbell and Mike Cooley made for some unbelievably strong and consistent LPs. That being said, what we have here are leftovers, outtakes, alternate takes/versions, covers, tunes that did not fit and orphans. So, some of the songs are great, some good and some are fun. While this record is in no danger of troubling Drive By Truckers’ albums Decoration Day or Dirty South, there is plenty of good stuff here for the faithful. Beginning with “George Jones Talkin’ Cell Phone Blues” and a scrappy cover of Tom Petty’s “Rebel,” you get a sense of what expectations to bring to the record. Not a major work, but more good stuff from one of America’s most interesting rock ‘n’ roll bands. No, don’t use this record to make converts (see above), but if you are fan, hey Patterson Hood has been working overtime to bring you the best kind of American Rock’n’Roll, so give the man his props.