I was not going for any sort of pun today, but the first two albums that popped into my head, for a variety of reasons, was the Weather Report’s Heavy Weather and this one…
Thoughts go out to all those being affected by the storm, Issac… again… Not sure how you deal with the battering every season, but I respect your desire to maintain your home and life and the dedication you have to staying put. Wherever you live, nature or man put up a number of challenges. We just have to remember to stay safe, stay smart and stay resilient.
I try not to delve into politics here… and there are many who know far more than I do… but from my seat this election is nasty and only gonna get nastier. I do not recall a time when ideology has so hijacked a party… nor when the largest goal is the defeat and humiliation of one man, instead of the greater good… instead of problem solving… Maybe I am being extremely naive, but why are we not all rebelling against this behavior… from both parties??? This can no longer be accepted as business as usual, especially while the rest of the world surpasses us on many levels.
This country is split down the middle. Has been for a while. We are losing so much ground, mostly because of the ridiculous lines drawn in the sand. I don’t have an answer, but speaking up and bringing back respect and sanity and reason might be a good place to start.
We must celebrate freedom for all. We must allow individuals to make choices on their own. We must fight for freedom without forcing it on those who truly do not want it… But must give those same people options and knowledge and an ability to choose in an honest and open way… and we must put this amazing country back on top.
So I have now jumped down off the soap box and will gladly put this amazing band right back up on what will now be a pedestal!
Drive-By Truckers – The Dirty South
While not a rock opera in the sense that 2001’s Southern Rock Opera is, both literally and in title, this is an amazing musical project with a large scope.
You’ll hear all the influences I so love, like Neil Young, Steve Earle, Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Replacements… comparisons to more of my favorite bands like the Old 97’s and Ryan Adams… and raw, powerful and fine Rock n’ Roll music. This is some kick-ass, sit up and take notice stuff.
If you do not know this band, dive in now… and I mean DIVE DEEP!
Here is a little acoustic taste of my one of my favorite songs on the record… “The Day John Henry Died”.
Wikipedia says: “The Dirty South is the fifth album by Alabamian alternative country/Southern rock group Drive-By Truckers, released in 2004. The Dirty South is Drive-By Truckers’ third concept album. Like its two predecessors, the album examines the state of the South, and unveils the hypocrisy, irony, and tragedy that continues to exist.”
AllMusic raves: “When you’ve named your band the Drive-By Truckers and your first three albums are called Pizza Deliverance, Gangstabilly, and Alabama Ass Whuppin’, you might have a hard time at first convincing folks that you aren’t joking. But the Drive-By Truckers proved that they were most definitely not kidding with 2001’s brilliant double-disc Southern Rock Opera, and 2003’s Decoration Day actually upped the ante on what might have been a fluke masterpiece with its dark and thoroughly absorbing chronicle of hard times in the American South. With The Dirty South, the DBTs have crafted an equally effective companion piece to Decoration Day that plays on the gangsta rap reference of its title with a set of vividly rendered portraits of life along the margins of respectability below the Mason-Dixon line, from laid-off factory rats dealing drugs to feed their kids to Alabama gangsters determined to shut down the cops who made their daughters cry. From the first low, metallic stomps from Brad Morgan’s kick drum on “Where the Devil Don’t Stay,” it’s clear that The Dirty South isn’t going to be a good-time party most of the way, and while there are some brilliant anthemic rockers on this album (most notably “The Day John Henry Died,” “Carl Perkins’ Cadillac,” and “Never Gonna Change”), and Patterson Hood, Mike Cooley, and Jason Isbell have grown into a force to be reckoned with as both guitarists and songwriters, there’s more than a little blood, fear, doubt, shame, and simple human tragedy at the heart of these stories. While much of America might be laughing at “You might be a redneck…” jokes, the Drive-By Truckers aren’t about to let anyone forget the harsh truth behind growing up on the wrong side of the tracks in this country, and the tough, muscular force of their music only sharpens the bite of their stories. They can also turn down the amps and still hit you in the heart, especially on “Danko/Manuel” and “Daddy’s Cup,” and David Barbe’s production gives this band the full-bodied clarity they’ve always deserved. Believe it –the Drive-By Truckers are the best, smartest, and most soulful hard rock band to emerge in a very long time, and while The Dirty South isn’t always good for laughs, it has too many great stories and too much fierce, passionate rock & roll for anyone who cares about such things to dare pass it up.”