In 2004, Drive-By Truckers were six years and five albums into their life as a band. According to the odd interview I’ve read with members of the band, it was make or break time. The practical decision would have been to try to tailor their sound to make it a little more main stream and accessible. Instead, they embarked on a double record concept album about Lynard Skynard, the chequered history of America’s south, and the duality of the southern man.
It was a huge gamble that paid off. Southern Rock Opera was the double record concept album that broke the band and took them to the level that meant they could headline their own tours and keep going completely on their own terms. That’s a huge deal, a huge risk and huge part of the band’s history. Which makes it even more mind blowing that at the same time, Drive-By Trucker’s Patterson Hood decided to also make his own first solo album, Killers and Stars. (more…)