Saturday, February 26, 2011

Drive By Trucker - Go Go Boots Review

I meant to post a blog late last night but I made the mistake of putting on some Dax Riggs music and I almost lost the will to live. After hiding the razor blades and a good night of sleep I have finally gotten off my lazy butt to blog....well sort of. I had two I am behind on and I knew there was no way I was doing two today so I had to make the choice between the reviewing the Jamey Johnson/Kid Rock concert or the new Drive By Trucker CD. DBT wins.

Those of you that know me well know that I am a huge Drive By Trucker nutswinger so it is logical to question if I can write an unbiased review of their music. Short The band could release a CD of Patterson, Cooley and Shonna farting and I would probably compare it to Crosby, Stills and Nash or Larry Gatlin and The Gatlin Brothers when they were all in their prime. I also am not going to give a Rolling Stone type review that is so full of hot air and big words that mean nothing that it leaves the reader still wondering if the music is good or not. If you are like me, all you need to know is if it sucks or not. I am going to do a track by track breakdown and rate it on a scale of five.

1. I Do Believe - This is my least favorite song on the CD and they open with it so my initial hopes for the CD were grim. I would classify it as filler but Patterson must really like it to make it track 1. I give it a 2.5/5

2. Go Go Boots - Give Patterson a news story containing some preaching and some killing and he is going to make a great song out of it. He did it on "The Big To Do" with The Wig He Made Her Wear, which I loved (I went to high school in Selmer, TN, which is where that story occurred), and I think he topped it with Go Go Boots. As the song unfolds you are taking in every line wanting to see what happened next. Very strong track. 4/5

3. Dancin' Ricky - This is Shonna's first track on the CD and I am going to label this one a grower. The first couple of plays I didn't like it at all but after about 15 plays, I am starting to like it. I much prefer her other track on the CD but this one is okay. 3/5

4. Cartoon Gold - Finally we got a Cooley track. Cooley is the most consistent writer of the band. It is rare that you get a track from him that is not solid and he delivers big time on Go Go Boots. Cooley's lyrics are not always clear when it comes to their meanings but he can work phrases and words like no one else. Cartoon Gold falls into that category. 5/5

5. Ray's Automatic Weapon - This is my 2nd favorite Patterson song on the CD. They opened the last two Nashville shows with it and at the time I was unfamiliar with the song but after getting the studio version I cannot stop playing it. In typical DBT fashion the song has some rather dark lyrics yet I think it is one of the more catchy tunes on the CD. 4.5/5

6. Everybody Needs Love - This is the first of the Eddie Hinton songs they cover and I had heard them do it live several months before the CD release. The song is very well done and it opens up the music of Eddie Hinton to a new fan base. I was unaware of who he was until DBT were praising him. Eddie died in 1995 but thanks to DBT they are helping keep his music alive. I really like this song and give it a 4/5

7. Assholes - I am not sure who Patterson wrote this song for but I think the title pretty well sums up how he was feeling. It has a nice sing along feel to it, despite the anger in the lyrics. I like it. 4/5

8. The Weakest Man - Cooley, acoustic guitar, need I say more. I love this song and give him another 5/5

9. Used To Be A Cop - This song I didn't like at first but once I listened to the lyrics it told a great story and it has grown on me a lot. I think as you listen to the song you will think of someone you know. 3.5/5 (might become a 4 at some point)

10. The Fireplace Poker - Preachers and killin'. This one is much more brutal as you get a lot of the details of the murder. A truly tragic story. Patterson must be a habitual viewer of TruTV and I can see him grabbing a notepad every time one of these stories are spotlighted. 4/5

11. Where's Eddie - This is another Eddie Hinton track and Shonna does a great job on this song. I have seen a video of this being performed at a soundcheck and the live version is better but that is not to take away anything from the studio version. 4/5

12. The Thanksgiving Filter - I love this song. It makes me think of all of those holiday movies with the crazy family members and then you have the people arguing over politics, etc. We all can relate to this song in some form or fashion. 4/5

13. Pulaski - Same as #8. Cooley with his acoustic guitar equals win. This song is something anyone growing up in a small town can relate too. You think the big city will be different but in the end you still long for and miss your small home town. 5/5

14. Mercy Buckets - This is my favorite Patterson song on the CD. I heard the live version first and it blew me away. I think this is one of the best songs Patterson has ever written and it closes out the CD stong. 5/5

Overall this is a good release. Their last CD was more of a rock record and they have gone the opposite direction with Go Go Boots. Go Go Boots is slowed down and has that Muscle Shoals sound. Cooley is acoustic on all three of his tracks and my one complaint is that he only has three tracks. My first play of the CD left me unsure of how I would like it but with each play I have grown to love it more and more. If you prefer your music to be light on subject matter and a bit poppy, this isn't for you. DBT sing about the hardships of life that they have seen and experienced and that is why they have such a dedicated fan base. It is real life.

Mercy Buckets


Ray's Automatic Weapon

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