Please explain to me ... Drive-By Truckers
Another year, another Drive-By Truckers album, another chance for people to proclaim them the greatest band in the land. And another chance for us to scratch our heads at the continued praise for this terribly overrated band. Hey, We at The Washington Post gave the band's latest, "The Big To-Do," a very fine review just yesterday. But for some of us, we still don't get what all the fuss is about. The Truckers are a fine group with some smart observations about Southern living and some rocking tunes. But is this really the best we've got? A few issues...
1) It seems people are mistaking grand scope with great quality. The band rarely thinks small. Double album southern rock operas, live shows that push the three hour mark. Whatever happened to brevity being the soul of wit? Whatever happened to Creedence giving us nine songs in 28 minutes and that being the perfect amount. Just because there's a lot, that doesn't make it an automatic epic.
2) The band shares regular themes with mainstream country artists -- southern living, down-on-their luck unsavory characters, etc. When a CMT-approved band trots out songs based around these ideas, non-country fans dismiss it as pandering. But suddenly when the Truckers do it, they are simply speaking the truth. Seems like a double standard.
3) Maybe the appeal is that they take bits of Southern rock and country and make it safe for non-fans of those genres to appreciate, but it seems like there's some hedging of bets. I've no doubt Patterson Hood loves him some Lynyrd Skynrd. At the same time, his fans are almost certainly going to rather listen to Band of Horses. Maybe that's not an issue with the band as much as the fans, but it does make me wonder what it would be like if they just gave in and went all-out country for an album.
Anyway, we're open to your thoughts. What makes the Truckers so great? Please explain...
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