Rolling Stone today premiered the powerful and poignant track “What It Means” from Drive-By Truckers’ much-anticipated new album, AMERICAN BAND, due out on ATO Records September 30. Watch a clip of the band performing the song live in Athens, GA.
About the new track, Patterson Hood told Rolling Stone it’s “a song I wrote a couple of years ago protesting the Ferguson decision and the Trayvon Martin killing. Unfortunately, the song is still timely today. I hope and pray that one day it won’t be.”
The first track from AMERICAN BAND, “Surrender Under Protest,” premiered at NPR Music in late June. AMERICAN BAND is available for pre-order now, arriving in stores and online retailers everywhere on September 30.
Hailed by Stereogum as “perhaps the greatest extant American rock and roll band,” Drive-By Truckers will celebrate AMERICAN BAND with an epic fall headline tour, beginning August 20 in Morrison, CO, at Red Rocks, and continuing into middle November (see itinerary below with the newly confirmed November dates). Support on the dates will come from Lydia Loveless, Son Volt and Kyle Craft. Tour highlights include two-night-stands at Portland, OR’s Wonder Ballroom (September 30th and October 1st), San Francisco, CA’s The Fillmore (October 6th and 7th), Los Angeles, CA’s Teragram Ballroom (October 11th and 12th), Asheville, NC’s The Orange Peel (November 4th and 5th) and Richmond, VA’s The National (November 10th and 11th). The band will also perform at such festivals as Lexington, KY’s Moontower Music Festival (August 27th), Toronto’s Toronto Urban Roots Fest (September 16th) and Fredericton, NB’s Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival (September 17th). Additional dates will be announced soon – for updates, please visit the official Drive-By Truckers tour page.
Founded in 1996 by singer/songwriter/guitarists Mike Cooley and Patterson Hood, the band have long held a progressive fire in their belly but with AMERICAN BAND, they have made the most explicitly political album in their extraordinary canon. A powerful and legitimately provocative work, hard edged and finely honed, the album is the sound of a truly American Band – a Southern American band – speaking on matters that matter. Master songwriters both, Hood and Cooley wisely avoid overt polemics to explore such pressing issues as race, income inequality, the NRA, deregulation, police brutality, Islamophobia, and the plague of suicides and opioid abuse. As a result, songs like “What It Means” and the tub-thumping “Surrender Under Protest” are intensely human music from a rock ‘n’ roll band yearning for community and collective action. Fueled by a just spirit of moral indignation and righteous rage, AMERICAN BAND is protest music fit for the stadiums,designed to raise issues and ire as the nation careens towards its most momentous election in a generation.
“I don’t want there to be any doubt as to which side of this discussion we fall on,” Hood says. “I don’t want there to be any misunderstanding of where we stand. If you don’t like it, you can leave. It’s okay. We’re not trying to be everybody’s favorite band, we’re going to be who we are and do what we do and anyone who’s with us, we’d love to have them join in.”
Mike Cooley is somewhat more direct. “I wanted this to be a no bones about it, in your face political album,” he says. “I wanted to piss off the assholes.”
Recorded late last year at Nashville’s historic Sound Emporium with longtime producer/engineer David Barbe behind the board, AMERICAN BAND’s considerable force can in part be credited to the sheer musical strength of the current Drive-By Truckers line-up, with Hood and Cooley joined by bassist Matt Patton, keyboardist/multi-
19 – Atlanta, GA – Tabernacle #