Mixed Blessing

The Drive-By Truckers try to drive their way out of a self-imposed Southern label

This week's show in Dallas finds the band returning to a market that in recent years they've often bypassed in favor of Austin. "I don't know why we don't play as much in Dallas. Ask our agent, I guess. Back when I booked the band we played there a lot. And Austin did take to the band in a big way early on."

To Hood, it's ironic that the Truckers aren't beloved regulars on the DFW concert calendar. "Two of my favorite bands of the last 20 years have come from that area. Lord knows I was a huge Slobberbone fan," he says (that group's newest incarnation, the Drams, opens at both Texas DBT dates this tour). And returning to his annoyance with the typecasting game, Hood cites his other metroplex fave as an example against it: "What in the hell do you call Centro-matic other than really great? People ask me to describe them all the time because people know what a huge fan I am, and I'm like, I don't know, I don't know how to describe them. Listen to them. They're really great."

And yes, Lynyrd Skynyrd have their place in the DBT pantheon, though Hood believes Southern Rock Opera "was misunderstood, and particularly by people who didn't listen very closely, it was taken as this sort of tribute, like all we ever did was grow up listening to nothing but Lynyrd Skynyrd. And I would have felt a little dishonest without addressing the fact that The Replacements were a much bigger influence in my life as a musician and artist than Lynyrd Skynyrd was, certainly in my formative years playing in bands."

"We certainly all love each other," Patterson Hood  says 
about his fellow Truckers. "But we don't necessarily 
agree on a lot."
Jim Fiscus
"We certainly all love each other," Patterson Hood says about his fellow Truckers. "But we don't necessarily agree on a lot."

For Hood, it's only rock and roll that his band plays, which may not be au courant these days, but what the hell? "We don't fit in," he concludes. "We're a rock and roll band. And that's considered something you're not even supposed to say anymore. I don't know why; I don't when that became a dirty word. Well, what kind of rock and roll? Well, all kinds of rock and roll. I love rock and roll. I love all of it, including a lot of it that isn't very good. There's some bands that suck that I really like. If it rocks, I'll probably really like it."

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