Jeff Moody
Stripwax

Truckload Of Love

By - Feb 27th, 2011 11:50 am
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I’ve always had a soft spot for screwed up people, because screwed up people are the most interesting people of all, and they need love more than the rest. One old friend of mine is a (truly) brilliant guitar player, but he hates people, so he never plays out in public. One friend is a raging alcoholic as well as a terrific raconteur who loves to be out in public but should never ACTUALLY BE out in public because he has no social filter. I just tell people he has Tourette’s. That tiny lie has kept us out of fights and him out of jail. Still another buddy has been killing himself incrementally for years. One day he’ll go too far and he’ll be gone forever and my broken heart and I will miss him like an amputee misses a limb.

The Drive By Truckers, they must love their screwed up friends too. The characters in their songs/stories are too delicately detailed to have been totally fabricated. Take the narrator (Patterson Hood) in “Used To Be A Cop” — what he tells you is how he lost his sense of identity when he lost his job. The track could easily slip into cliché, but there’s a matter-of-fact, I fucked-it-all-up-real-good resignation in Hood’s voice, with only a trace of bitterness, that gives it extra gravity. A supreme moment of beauty comes when he transitions the story back to his youth: The music, some ominously dark-toned funk, brightens the moment Hood recollects his time playing high school football, and his choice of the police academy once he found out he was too small to play college ball. “And I passed the entrance exam, first try…” he says, with obvious pride and fondness.

The girl who can’t find her missing boyfriend, the guy who’s doesn’t want to hold his friend’s gun for him anymore for fear he might use it himself, the girl from Tennessee that moved to California only to be disappointed… Go Go Boots is populated by characters and stories that are written so vividly and seem so real, you feel like you know them. This leads to empathy, and once you start caring for characters, yer pretty much hooked, right?

The 6th track on the elpee should have been saved for last – part gospel, part country, and its chorus is transcendent. It’s called “Everybody Needs Love,” which really is the moral Go Go Boots, and makes it such a pleasure to listen to.

Categories: Stripwax

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