This old man's ears are still ringing from last night's Drive-By Truckers show at the Crofoot Ballroom in Pontiac. The opening act were southern-rockers The Dexateens. Both bands hail from the great State of Alabama. (For those keeping score, the evening featured ten players, six beards, two drummers, and 44 loudly amplified guitar strings).
If you like loud and fun rock shows with a good dose of intelligence and twang, be sure to check out the DBT's current world tour. The crowd at last night's show (which appeared to consist primarily of record store employees with a few lumberjacks and girlfriends sprinkled in) definitely got their money's worth.
In my opinion, the Drive-By Truckers are the best thing going in the field of "alt-country"* these days. I just wish they had been around back when I was 20 years old. As much as I like them now, I really would have loved them then. (Uncle Tupelo were great back in my time, but the DBT's seem a lot looser and generally more fun than I remember Uncle Tupelo being.)
Probably the coolest thing about the show was the encore when the DBT's invited some random Dexateens and a few female fans on stage for a jamming version of Jim Carroll's "People Who Died."
So here are some tracks for your listening enjoyment. The first two come from The DBT's new release Brighter Than Creation's Dark, which is my favorite album of 2008 so far. It's highly recommended if you are into rock or alt-country. For further details, check this insta-review or AMG.
Drive-By Truckers – Self Destructive Zones (buy album)
Drive-By Truckers – The Opening Act (buy album)
The Dexateens – Slender Thread (free album download)
The Jim Carroll Band – People Who Died (buy album)
Also check out this great live recording over at Captain’s Dead. Make sure you listen to "The Three Great Alabama Icons" and "George Wallace." (But note that the greatest Alabama icon goes unmentioned.)
All concert photos in this post were taken by me.
*We could get into a big discussion about whether the Drive-By Truckers really are "alt-country." The phrase is vague and ever-changing, much like the definition of alternative rock. To me it just means twangy rock. If you've got a drummer and a peddle steel player in the band, and you aren't playing straight country, there's a pretty good chance you're playing "alt-country." The first bands I ever heard described as "alt-country" were Uncle Tupelo and Whiskeytown. (Before then we had "cowpunk," "Americana," and "jangle rock.") The DBT's share a lot of common ground with those bands, so I'm sticking with the "alt-country" description.