Articles Tagged: Drive-by Truckers

Certain Songs #358: Drive-by Truckers – “Mama Bake a Pie (Daddy Kill a Chicken)”

DBT - Fine Print Album: The Fine Print: A Collection of Oddities and Rarities
Year: 2004

Recorded in 2004 for a tribute album that never got released, Drive-by Truckers cover of Tom T. Hall’s “Mama Bake a Pie (Daddy Kill a Chicken)” is one of those rare times a band takes a 40-year-old song and makes it feel like it was written yesterday.

Which, given the subject matter — a paralyzed vet coming home for the first time — kinda sucks. Tom T. Hall wrote it about a Vietnam vet, but of course it still has resonance now for our vets coming home from Iraq or Afghanistan. And will sadly have resonance for whichever of the endless series of wars we find ourselves in next.

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Certain Songs #356: Drive-by Truckers – “Goddamn Lonely Love”

DBT Dirty South Album: The Dirty South
Year: 2004

Jason Isbell’s last great Drive-by Truckers song was so strong they had it close out The Dirty South.

After the all of the folklore and Southern mythos that covered the album like so much kudzu, it felt fitting to close it all out with a melancholy love song written by one member of the band to another. Like a reminder of what’s truly important.

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Certain Songs #355: Drive-by Truckers – “Carl Perkins’ Cadillac”

DBT Dirty South Album: The Dirty South
Year: 2004

Set at the very dawn of rock ‘n’ roll, Mike Cooley takes a look at the famous Million Dollar Quartet — Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins, for those of you keeping score at home — and their even more infamous record producer, Sam Phillips.

Probably if you like Drive-by Truckers, you know all about the explosion that came out of Sun Records in the mid-1950s, and while the impetus for the song is the fact that Sam Phillips gave Carl Perkins a Cadillac when “Blue Suede Shoes” sold a million copies, Cooley has more than just that on his mind.

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Certain Songs #354: Drive-by Truckers – “The Day John Henry Died”

DBT Dirty South Album: The Dirty South
Year: 2004

If Decoration Day was a conscious effort to tell smaller, more personal stories, then its follow-up, The Dirty South, found DBT feeling both their oats and their ambitions again.

While not quite a concept album — there isn’t really a through line here — The Dirty South tackled several Southern-oriented myths, large and small, and one of the key tracks was Jason Isbell’s “The Day John Henry Died.”

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Certain Songs #353: Drive-by Truckers – “Outfit”

MI0000379887 Album: Decoration Day
Year: 2003

So if you’re going to break into a band that already has two songwriters as great as Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley, you’d best come in with your A game.

Which is exactly what Jason Isbell did with “Outfit,” his first song on any Drive-by Truckers album, and probably one of my five favorite songs of the 21st century.

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