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Truckers bring the pain and the rock
Posted Jan 22, 2011 by Clarisa Gerlach
Updated Jan 22, 2011 at 04:27 AM
TAMPA “Somewhere in the hurt is where the good stuff lies,” Patterson Hood told a Ritz Ybor crowd Friday night (Jan. 21, 2011) toward the end of Drive-By Truckers two-and-a-half hour set Friday night.
By the time Hood made that proclamation, plenty of ears in the crowd were feeling the hurt. The Truckers put their three guitars, bass, drums and keyboards lineup to full use, and the quieter moments were there mainly to give the loud stuff more impact.
But that sound is a siren’s song, especially to listeners who grew up on the Southern and classic rock sounds the Truckers draw from. So eardrums be damned – we‘re going in close.
The stage set featured two backdrops painted to look like stained-glass windows, each decorated with the hideous, reptilian bird that features in much of the Truckers’ artwork.
The creature is part scavenger, part bird of prey and part Poe’s raven. Songwriters Hood and Mike Cooley don’t mention the bird explicitly but it hovers over their songs, shadowing every act of cowardice and desperation, every wrong move and every bullet fired.
Cooley and Hood are both great storytellers, and they’ve got the grasp of the modern South that will ring true to anyone who’s lived there.
They back those stories with tough rock ‘n’ roll that’s part “Second Helping,” part “Exile on Main St.” and part “London Calling.”
The group moved easily from strident funk to honky-tonk country on a version of “Goode’s Field Road” that left the one on “Brighter Than Creation’s Dark” in the dust. “Hell No, I Ain’t Happy” featured an extremely angry-sounding sing-along. The title track from the upcoming “Go-Go Boots,” raised hopes for the new album, out Feb. 15.
The encore left crowd and band drained, with a take-no-prisoners version of “Lookout Mountain” which was preceded by a storming take on Van Halen’s “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love.”