Drive-By Truckers’ 13th studio album, The New OK, arrives mere months after the release of the band’s highly acclaimed The Unraveling. Originally conceived as a quarantine EP collecting material recorded in Memphis during sessions for The Unraveling, the project quickly grew to include provocative new songs written and recorded over what Drive-By Truckers co-founder Patterson Hood calls “this endless summer of protests, riots, political shenanigans and pandemic horrors.” Tracks such as Hood’s ‘Watching The Orange Clouds’ – inspired by the protests which followed George Floyd’s murder by Minneapolis police – and a fiery cover of The Ramones’ classic ‘The KKK Took My Baby Away’ (vocals by bassist Matt Patton) were exchanged between Hood, co-founding singer/songwriter/guitarist Mike Cooley, bassist Patton, keyboardist/multi-instrumentalist Jay Gonzalez, drummer Brad Morgan and then mixed by longtime DBT producer David Barbe. The result, says Hood, is “a full album that hopefully balances out the darkness of our current situation with a hope for better days and nights ahead.”
“To call these past few months trying would be a dramatic understatement,” Hood continues. “Our lives are intertwined with our work in ways that give us our best songs and performances. It is a life that has often rewarded us beyond our wildest dreams. Speaking for myself, I don’t have hobbies, I have this thing I do. To be sidelined with a brand new album and have to sit idly while so much that I love and hold dear falls apart before my very eyes has been intense, heartbreaking, anger provoking and very depressing. It has gone to the very heart of our livelihoods and threatened near everything that we have spent our lives trying to build. Here’s to the hope that we can make 2021 a better year than this one has been. In the meantime, here’s to The New OK!”
Released at the end of January 2020, The Unraveling marked Drive-By Truckers’ first new LP in more than three years – the longest ever gap between new DBT albums. The album – recorded in September 2018 at the legendary Sam Phillips Recording Service in Memphis, TN by GRAMMY® Award-winning engineer Matt Ross-Spang (Jason Isbell, Margo Price) and David Barbe – made a top 5 debut on Billboard’s ‘Rock Albums’ chart amidst a wave of critical acclaim. The Guardian awarded the album 5 stars and remarked, “The Georgia band’s 12th album damns modern America: they’re disgusted and mournful. It’s despairing, potent and essential”. MOJO heaped praise in their Album of the Month slot, “The last album was a warning shot hinting at the coming storm. This one was written in the wreckage and aftermath“. American Songwriter hailed it as the band’s “best yet…a perfect storm of anger, resentment, frustration and even glimmers of hope, wrapped in the sharp, terse musical invention we have come to expect from these veterans.”
Artists’ website: www.drivebytruckers.com
‘The New OK’:
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