Drive-By Truckers bring you home to Muscle Shoals, Alabama and The Dirty South on this 2004 masterwork which is home to the standouts "Tornadoes," "Danko/Manuel" and "Carl Perkins' Cadillac" and remains the band's best selling album. While previous Southern rock bands have celebrated certain regional mythologies, this quintet revels in the towering glory of small, gritty realities. Stylistically the Truckers weave a little bit of punk along with the old time country, pop, and R&B into their rock sound, but whichever muse they happen to follow, "they let the songwriting speak for itself," as Rolling Stone wrote, "and it sings loud and clear." As Patterson Hood says, "Inter-connected themes explored by three different writers in the band (with three very different points of view) has always been a hallmark of what sets our band apart."
"Dark, mean, and replete with ear-bleeding riffs, 2004's The Dirty South is a gritty set of hard-stomping boogies, poignant acoustic waltzes, and declarative rock n' roll played with bracing conviction. Here, Jason Isbell joins vocalist/guitarists Mike Cooley and Hood as a principal songwriter, sharpening the band's historical fiction and personal reflections. Recorded on two-inch analog tape, the bold, brawny sound presents the Truckers in all their ragged glory. Turn it up and feel the unmistakable hum of warm amps, guitars that toll like funeral-mass bells, and clang of auto-parts percussion. - Bob Gendron, The Absolute Sound, October 2004