Missed Masterpieces: Drive-By Truckers | Buzz Blog
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Missed Masterpieces: Drive-By Truckers

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Next up for citizen journalist/music geek Lane Heaps as he rediscovers some modern classics: the Drive-By Truckers' epic Southern Rock Opera.---

I own somewhere between 700 and 1,000 CDs. I’m not sure exactly because I loan a lot of them out to friends and family, and I never cared enough to sit down and count them to get an exact number.

About five years ago I was reading some music rag and read about a band called the Drive-by Truckers, which struck me as an awfully stupid name for a rock band. But the article ranted and raved so much about their double-CD entitled Southern Rock Opera, with one CD called Act One and the other Act Two. What the hell, I thought, for 15 bucks I was going to see what all the hoopla was about.

So I bought the album and jammed Act One in my car CD player. By the time I finished with Act Two something amazing had happened. First, the album absolutely blew my mind—the depth and breadth of the album that comprises historical, cultural and autobiographical factors, and the portrayal of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s final flight as if you’re going down with them as the trees in the swamps near Baton Rouge kept getting closer and closer until they’re coming through your window.

The album put a grip on me more than any album before or since. More than the Stones or the Clash or anything I’d ever heard before. It’s the only album I could listen to for almost seven weeks. And it rocked mightily.

Since then, I’ve seen the Drive-by Truckers live four times. They have also made some other fine albums, but nothing like Southern Rock Opera. Now, I don’t know if this album will mess you up in any way close to the way it did me, but ain’t it worth a listen nonetheless?