Misfits, Celebrated in Song

Chronicling the lives of misfits, the Drive-By Truckers dwell on despair, but never give in to it.

A bracing cross between Lynyrd Skynyrd and Flannery O’Connor, this quintet of self-described “big, loud Southern men” has produced a raw, riveting masterpiece. The Drive-By Truckers specialize in stark portraits of misfits who can’t get past their limitations but aren’t about to give up trying. It’s exhilarating to encounter the emotion of “Sink Hole,” a failed farmer’s tirade against the bank, or “Do It Yourself,” the angry response to a friend’s suicide, however grim the sentiments. Amid the turmoil, a healthy dose of wry black humor keeps despair at bay, just barely. Memorable lyric: “Rock ‘n’ roll means well / But it can’t help tellin’ young boys lies.”


We believe that journalism needs to stand for something right now. That the press is the enemy of secrecy and corruption. That reporting without a sense of right and wrong only helps liars and propagandists succeed. And that we're in this fight for the long haul.

So we're hoping to raise $30,000 in new monthly donations this fall. Read our argument for journalism that is fair and accurate and stands for something—and join us with a tax-deductible monthly donation (or make a one-time gift) if you agree.

  • Jon Young is a contributing writer for Mother Jones. For more of his stories, click here.