“Town Burned Down” Is a Searing Triumph

With a personal backstory to boot.

Album Review

Adam’s House Cat
Town Burned Down

“Town Burned Down” is the great lost Drive-By Truckers album—sort of. The first band of DBT principals Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley recorded their sole album in 1990, only to see it go unreleased at the time. Adam’s House Cat employed a similar approach to the Truckers, delivering a scruffy southern amalgam of old-school rock and roll and punk that suggests a Nirvana-Stones hybrid. Chronicling hard-luck, small-town lives with empathy and dark humor, anguished Hood originals like “Lookout Mountain” and “Cemeteries” are among his best work. After tapes of the album resurfaced a few years ago, Hood re-recorded the vocals, pleading unhappiness with his original efforts, and bringing his usual worried urgency to the mix. The result is a searing triumph, whether you know the backstory or not.


The more we thought about how MoJo's journalism can have the most impact heading into the 2020 election, the more we realized that so many of today's stories come down to corruption: democracy and the rule of law being undermined by the wealthy and powerful for their own gain.

So we're launching a new Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption. We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We'll publish what we find as a major series in the summer of 2020, including a special issue of our magazine, a dedicated online portal, and video and podcast series so it doesn't get lost in the daily deluge of breaking news.

It's unlike anything we've done before and we've got seed funding to get started, but we're asking readers to help crowdfund this new beat with an additional $500,000 so we can go even bigger. You can read why we're taking this approach and what we want to accomplish in "Corruption Isn't Just Another Scandal. It's the Rot Beneath All of Them," and if you like how it sounds, please help fund it with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.