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The Dirty South
Drive-By Truckers, Drive By Truckers
The Dirty South
Genres: Country, Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock, Metal
  •  Track Listings (14) - Disc #1

The Dirty South is the sixth album by Muscle Shoals, Alabama-based Drive-By Truckers. While previous Southern rock bands have celebrated certain regional mythologies, this quintet revels in the towering glory of small, gri...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Drive-By Truckers, Drive By Truckers
Title: The Dirty South
Members Wishing: 11
Total Copies: 0
Label: New West Records
Release Date: 8/24/2004
Genres: Country, Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock, Metal
Styles: Americana, American Alternative, Country Rock, Southern Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
Other Editions: Dirty South
UPC: 607396605828

The Dirty South is the sixth album by Muscle Shoals, Alabama-based Drive-By Truckers. While previous Southern rock bands have celebrated certain regional mythologies, this quintet revels in the towering glory of small, gritty realities. They can kick up a righteous storm, as on the country lick-filled opener "Where the Devil Don't Stay," or the swamp and fuzzy "Lookout Mountain." However, within the latter is a daunting verse: "If I throw myself off Lookout Mountain, No more for my soul to keep, I wonder who will drive my car, I wonder if my Mom will weep." It's clear these guys deliver emotional wallops at every turn. "Carl Perkins' Cadillac" honors the honesty of Sam Phillips, while writhing in the melancholy of changing times and circumstances. --David Greenberger

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CD Reviews

A rich mélange meriting a wide audience
loce_the_wizard | Lilburn, GA USA | 09/15/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Pardon me if I don't keep the adjectives tucked away during this review, but "The Dirty South" deserves some lofty platitudes. The Drive-By Truckers have always embraced---even wallowed---in the traditions, stories, myths, and hallucinations that fuel lore about the South. This rich mélange merits a wide audience, and no doubt will---or should--- swell the numbers of Drive-By Truckers' fans.

Familiar themes of moonshine, cards, John Henry, love, stock car racing, and pride are given fresh treatments. The wonderful Buford Stick presents the flip side of Buford Pusser's legend (Buford is the bad guy here); The Sands of Iwo Jima contrasts the portrayal of reality with the actual reality of WWII; Danko/Manuel offers a bittersweet tribute to the dead members of the Band.

Drive-By Truckers rev up their multiple guitar attack to good effect but the crunching riffs in tracks such as Where the Devil Don't Stay and Daddy's Cup, but they invoke dread and fear through layers of sound in tracks like Tornadoes and Puttin' People on the Moon.

It's a great thing when the lyrics actually mean something, and the depth and allusion here show these folks do their homework. The biting irony of a reference like "I never saw John Wayne on the sands of Iwo Jimo" or to Elvis like "Making money you can't spend ain't what being dead's about" causes one to stop and think.

Throw in some wonderful artwork, well-crafted packing, and 70-plus minutes of riveting songs and, well, you have to go with 5 stars for this effort.
These Guys Matter!
S. Finefrock | Raleigh, NC | 01/06/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"In their heyday, The Clash adopted the motto "The Only Band That Matters". It takes an awful lot of balls to make such a claim, and you had better be able to back it up or be prepared to look pretty foolish. Could you imagine a band like Matchbox 20 making a claim like that with a stright face? Didn't think so. The Drive By Truckers have yet to make such an auspicious claim, but if there is any band out there that could....

Like the Clash, DBT's champion the underdog in the world and offer such a detailed chronicle on the underbelly of life in the Sun Belt(Bible Belt) that it sometimes seems like musical sociology. On top of that they can also hitch their ideas to solid hook filled hard rock.

That being said, though THE DIRTY SOUTH is as strong an album that you will hear this year, it pails alittle when compared to their last two albums, SOUTHERN ROCK OPERA and DECORATION DAY. Patterson Hood, the highest profile of three excellent writers in the band, comes up short on a couple tunes (TORNADOES and THE SANDS OF IWO JIMA), though he does come through on THE BUFORD STICK and LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN. Jason Isabell contributes two of the best songs on the record (disk?), with THE DAY JOHN HENRY DIED and GODDAMN LONELY LOVE. Mike Cooley then strikes gold with the hardnosed opener WHERE THE DEVIL DON'T STAY and the nod to their predecessors, The Band, in DANKO/MANUAL.

Anyone who feels that rock has passed it's expiration date need only look to THE DIRTY SOUTH to see that it's still alive and kicking and has original and important thing yet to say. This is music that matters.

7/15/2005. Just an update, Iwrote this about a week after purchasing it. I would now give it five stars withour reservation.
Good but not classic
Jeffrey Bowyer | Manila, Philippines | 05/18/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I know that average reviews are not viewed as all that "helpful", but, like the previous reviewers from Indianapolis and Scotland, I thought I'd offer one anyway.

I went out and bought The Dirty South after I read the rave reviews on Amazon. From most of the reviews here, you would think that the Drive By Truckers rival the likes of Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Allman Brothers, and early ZZ Top. According to one reviewer, they are the "saviours of rock." IMO, that's going way too far. The DBT are probably more on par talent-wise with the VRoys (from the late 90s), the Old 97s, and the North Mississippi Allstars - all decent bands, all with a good deal of talent, but ultimately one Duane Allman or Billy Gibbons short (in other words, a long way away) from being the next great Southern rock band.

Still, the Dirty South is a pretty decent album. "Lookout Mountain", "Never Gonna Change" and "Where the Devil Don't Stay" showcase the DBT's driving, dense guitar sound. "The Day John Henry Died" and "Carl Perkins' Cadillac" show that the band can write good music to go along with their strong lyrics if they put their mind to it. And "Danko/Manuel" is a great, slow country song.

For me, the main problem with The Dirty South is when the band uses their music simply as background to their vocals, which is the case on nearly half the songs. Too few hooks or changes in tempo makes for a rather bland and repetitive listening experience after awhile. "Cottonseed" and "Daddy's Cup" are songs that do absolutely nothing for me because of this.

A decent album, yes. A classic? Far from it."