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Southern Rock Opera

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Hal Horowitz
Don't be deterred by the rather misleading title. Not a rock opera in the sense of Tommy or Jesus Christ Superstar, this sprawling double disc is more akin to a song cycle about Southern rock, in particular Lynyrd Skynyrd. Almost six years in the making, the Drive-By Truckers have created a startlingly intelligent work that proudly stands with the best music of their obvious inspiration. Largely written and conceived by lead trucker Patterson Hood son of famed Muscle Shoals bassist David Hood, who sings the majority of the songs in a torn, ragged, but emotionally charged twangy voice somewhere between Tom Petty and Rod Stewart, these 20 literate tracks encapsulate a ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Hal Horowitz
Don't be deterred by the rather misleading title. Not a rock opera in the sense of Tommy or Jesus Christ Superstar, this sprawling double disc is more akin to a song cycle about Southern rock, in particular Lynyrd Skynyrd. Almost six years in the making, the Drive-By Truckers have created a startlingly intelligent work that proudly stands with the best music of their obvious inspiration. Largely written and conceived by lead trucker Patterson Hood son of famed Muscle Shoals bassist David Hood, who sings the majority of the songs in a torn, ragged, but emotionally charged twangy voice somewhere between Tom Petty and Rod Stewart, these 20 literate tracks encapsulate a remarkably objective look at what Hood calls "the duality of the South." Rocking with a lean hardness, the story unfolds over 90 minutes, but the savvy lyrical observations never overburden the songs' clenched grip. While bands like the similarly styled Bottle Rockets have worked this territory before, never has a group created an opus that's thematically tied to this genre while objectively exploring its conceptual limitations. The two discs are divided into Acts I and II; the first sets the stage by exploring aspects of an unnamed Southern teen's background growing up as a music fan in an environment where sports stars, not rock stars, were idolized. The second follows him as he joins his Skynyrd-styled dream band, tours the world, and eventually crashes to his death in the same sort of airplane accident that claimed his heroes. The Drive-By Truckers proudly charge through these songs with their three guitars, grinding and soloing with a swampy intensity recalling a grittier, less commercially viable early version of Skynyrd. A potentially dodgy concept that's redeemed by magnificent songwriting, passionate singing, and ruggedly confident but far from over-the-top playing, Southern Rock Opera should be required listening not only for fans of the genre, but anyone interested in the history of '70s rock, or even the history of the South in that decade. More the story of Hood than Skynyrd, this is thought-provoking music that also slashes, burns, and kicks out the jams. Its narrative comes to life through these songs of alienation, excess, and, ultimately, salvation, as seen through the eyes of someone who lived and understands it better than most.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/16/2002
  • Label: Lost Highway
  • UPC: 008817030821
  • Catalog Number: 170308
  • Sales rank: 2,920

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Drive-By Truckers Primary Artist
Anne Richmond Boston Track Performer
Kelly Hogan Track Performer
Robert Malone Track Performer
Mike Cooley Track Performer
Amy Pike Track Performer
Jyl Freed Track Performer
Patterson Hood Track Performer
Earl Hicks Track Performer
Brad Morgan Track Performer
Technical Credits
David Barbe Producer
Dick Cooper Producer, Engineer
Rodney Mills Mastering
Drive-By Truckers Producer
Patterson Hood Liner Notes
Wes Freed Artwork, Cover Art
Earl Hicks Engineer
Lilla Hood Art Direction, Adaptation
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2011

    You need this album

    This is one of my favorite albums. I have turned several friends on to this band by playing Southern Rock Opera. It should be played from start to finish as DBT actually gave thought as to how the songs played off one another rather than just compiling 13 songs. Power chords and driving drums hit you in the all-out rock anthems. Then there are some very touching ballads. All songs are well-written and musicianship is top-shelf. Do yourself a favor and get this.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews