Drive-By Truckers – “The Driver”

Brantley Guitierrez

Drive-By Truckers – “The Driver”

Brantley Guitierrez

Next month, Southern rock road-dog legends Drive-By Truckers will release album number 14. The band recorded Welcome 2 Club XIII live-in-studio in Athens, Georgia with producer David Barbe, and the LP features backing vocals from people like Margo Price and former R.E.M. member Mike Mills. We’ve already posted the title track and “Every Single Storied Flameout,” and now DBT have also shared the seven-minute swamp-rocker “The Driver.”

Drive-By Truckers co-leader Patterson Hood wrote “The Driver,” and he sings it in that spoken-narration way that he reserves for some of his most literary songs. Hood uses the song to tell stories about things that he’s seen while driving around at different times in his life — a Klan rally next to a flaming dumpster, a “Honda full of girls go airborne into the trees” — and his own near-death experiences. The song’s got a heavy guitar riff and backing vocals from Mississippi singer-songwriter Schaefer Llana, and it makes for a deep, dark meditation. Of the song, Hood says:

Around the same era of Club XIII, I spent a lot of time driving around late at night when I couldn’t sleep, listening to music loud and often having a beer or two. Sometimes during those drives, I’d have these epiphanies about what to do with my life — like listening to Tim by The Replacements not long after it came out and deciding to drop out of school to try and make this whole band thing work.

Check it out below.

Welcome 2 Club XIII is out 6/3 via ATO Records.

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