Home Read Classic Album Review: Drive-By Truckers | Alabama Ass Whuppin’

Classic Album Review: Drive-By Truckers | Alabama Ass Whuppin’

Patterson Hood and his southern indie-rockers rise with a tremendous live set.


This came out in 2001 — or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


The South might not rise again. But Southern Rock just might be due for a second coming. And no one is doing more to bring it back from the dead than Drive-By Truckers, a ragtag outfit of rockers led by blue-collar storyteller and singer Patterson Hood, a gravel-throated poet laureate of the trailer park.

Imagine if Bruce Springsteen were the son of a Muscle Shoals session player, and grew up hearing the greasy down-home rock of Lynyrd Skynyrd and the arc-welded guitars and loping rhythms of Neil Young. Now imagine if The E Street band had three guitars and plenty of bourbon. I’m pretty sure they’d write songs like Why Henry Drinks, Too Much Sex (Too Little Jesus) and Buttholeville, three of Patterson’s twisted little odes to Southern men (and women) on the live recording Alabama Ass Whuppin’, their third album. Best of the lot, though, is the epic centrepiece 18 Wheels of Love, a hilarious yet touching epic about Hood’s mom and her romance with a 350-pound tattooed trucker named Chester. “He’s making her give life another stab,” explains Hood. “They can see the world from way up in the cab.” Even Bruce couldn’t top that one.