Southern Rock Opera
in '01, they've recorded three more terrific albums, establishing them as leaders of the rock underground. All three guitarists write -- one reason that every release is so solid. Each is capable of awe-inspiring songs, from Jason Isbell's workingman's ode "The Day John Henry Died" to Mike Cooley's bitter and bruised -- but not beaten -- "Gravity's Gone" and Patterson Hood's haunting tale of incest, "The Deeper In."
Openers the Drams are refugees from the wreckage of longtime Texas rocker Slobberbone. Singer-guitarist Brent Best still loves his alt-country, but their debut, Jubilee Dive, embraces a pop sensibility more like the Band's than the Replacements'.
The Truckers' country-blues songs offer a panorama of misfits, miscreants, and losers. The prickly edges of the band's rootsy rumble match the characters' jaded, hard-won resilience. Since their breakthrough opus