It’s been over three years since the Drive-By Truckers’ released ‘American Band (the longest stretch between albums in the band’s career) but now the wait is over. The band’s 12th studio album ‘The Unraveling” will be released on January 31st on ATO Records.
‘The Unraveling” was recorded at the legendary Sam Phillips Recording Service in Memphis, TN by Grammy Award-winning engineer Matt Ross-Spang (Jason Isbell, Margo Price) and longtime DBT producer David Barbe.
Part of the longer than usual wait was a result of co-founding singer/songwriter/guitarists Mike Cooley and Patterson Hood’s struggles with writer’s block.
“How do you put these day to day things we’re all living through into the form of a song that we (much less anybody else) would ever want to listen to?” says Hood. “How do you write about the daily absurdities when you can’t even wrap your head around them in the first place? I think our response was to focus at the core emotional level. More heart and less cerebral perhaps.”
“The past three-and-a-half years were among the most tumultuous our country has ever seen,” says Hood, “and the duality between the generally positive state of affairs within our band while watching so many things we care about being decimated and destroyed all around us informed the writing of this album to the core.
“While a quick glance might imply that we’re picking up where 2016’s ‘American Band’ album left off, the differences are as telling as the similarities. If the last one was a warning shot hinting at a coming storm, this one was written in the wreckage and aftermath. I’ve always said that all of our records are political but I’ve also said that ‘politics is personal’. With that in mind, this album is especially personal.”
The current Drive-By Truckers line-up is Hood and Cooley, bassist Matt Patton, keyboardist/multi-instrumentalist Jay Gonzalez, and drummer Brad Morgan – together, the longest-lasting iteration in the band’s almost 25-year history. The LP also features a number of special guests, including The Shins’ Patti King, violinist/string arranger Kyleen King (Brandi Carlile), and North Mississippi All-Stars’ Cody Dickinson, who contributes electric washboard to the strikingly direct “Babies In Cages.”
Hear the scorching ‘Armageddon’s Back in Town’ below.