Last year Alabama's Drive-By Truckers wooed a nation of hipsters with their terrific Decoration Day, an album of Southern hard-luck stories told with you-are-there detail and delivered with there-you-are muscle. From the sound of Welcome to the Woods, their major-label debut, Atlanta's Lost Trailers would like to seduce those same outsiders. Though it's a totally credible continuation of the kind of Southern rock hundreds of bands between the Allman Brothers and the Black Crowes have made--Roman-candle guitars, stuck-in-the-mud drums, histrionic women on backing vocals--there's a scuffed-up glamour to Welcome that feels custom-engineered to highlight the band's down-home charm: the way front man Stokes Nielson enunciates a line like "The only tailgates I see down are loading smack and crack cocaine," or how neatly Mickey Raphael's harmonica enters the mix in "Yellow Rose." But if it's supposed to work, it absolutely does: You're hereby challenged not to howl along with "Down in the Valley" and "Mary" after work on Friday night.
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