Standard Black Vinyl LP + 7"
A powerful and legitimately provocative work, hard edged and finely honed, Drive By Truckers' American Band is the sound of a truly American Band – a Southern American band – speaking on matters that matter. DBT made the choice to direct the Way We Live Now head on, employing realism rather than subtext or symbolism to purge its makers' own anger, discontent, and frustration with societal disintegration and the urban/rural divide that has partitioned the country for close to a half-century. Fueled by a just spirit of moral indignation and righteous rage, American Band is protest music fit for the stadiums, designed to raise issues and ire as the nation careens towards its most momentous election in a generation.
American Band's considerable force can in part be credited to the sheer musical strength of the current Drive-By Truckers line-up, with Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley joined by bassist Matt Patton, keyboardist/multi-instrumentalist Jay Gonzalez, and drummer Brad Morgan – together, the longest-lasting iteration in the band's two-decade history. The album is made up of eleven new songs (split almost evenly between Cooley and Hood compositions) and follows English Oceans and 2015's It's Great To Be Alive!, marking the first time DBT have made three consecutive LPs with the same hard-traveling crew.
Hood says of the record: "American Band is a sort of rock and roll call to arms as well as a musical reset button for our band and the country we live in. Most of all, we look at it as the beginnings of some conversations that we, as a people very much need to begin having if we ever hope to break through the divisions that are threatening to tear us apart. Drive-By Truckers are celebrating our twentieth anniversary as a band in an election year where some people are trying to define what it is to be American.
"Definitions based on some outdated ideology of prejudice and fear. We are loudly proclaiming that those people don't speak for us. America is and always has been a land of immigrants and ideals. Ideals that we have often fallen short of achieving, but it's the striving that has given us whatever claims to greatness we have had. That's what America means to us and We're an American Band."