Drive-by Truckers’ Long Road Stretches On

David McClister

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Drive-By Truckers
English Oceans
ATO

Twelve studio albums is a long time to maintain your edge, but Drive-By Truckers show no signs of fatigue on the compelling English Oceans. While the band has maintained a consistent identity over the years, telling hard-luck stories of everyday people with nonjudgmental eloquence, subtle changes have helped them stay fresh, namely new faces in the supporting cast and a gradual shift to a greater sharing of creative power. Where Patterson Hood seemed to be the main driving force in the early days, fellow writer and singer Mike Cooley has emerged as a more substantial and confident contributor, and provides 6 of the 13 songs here. His folkier voice may sound too understated at first, but serves as an effective counterpoint to Hood’s bluesier and brasher displays. Highlights include “Made Up English Oceans,” inspired by real-life political smear master Lee Atwater, and the epic, eight-minute lament “Grand Canyon.”

Equally adept at dirty, two-fisted rock and tender ballads, Drive-By Truckers still have their mojo. Long may they roll.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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