Drive-By Truckers' Patterson Hood Provides the Perfect Remedy for Grammy Award Dismay

Not to sound like the ultimate cliche, but there was something about the Grammy Awards that made me sad.

Leave it to Drive-By Truckers' front man Patterson Hood to remind us that not everything in music has become the sonic equivalent of the Big Box store, that some musicians still write and perform from the heart.

He's done that my putting his thoughts -- in this case about Wal-Mart displacing local merchants in his beloved Athens, Georgia -- to music in the song "After It's Gone." Joining him on the song are the Downtown 13 otherwise known as members of Drive-By Truckers, Widespread Panic, R.E.M., Futurebirds, Hope For Agoldensummer, Lera Lynn, Justified True Belief and The Quick Hooks.

Listen or download the song for free. The catch? You need to spend a few seconds -- though Hood likely hopes you'll spend a bit longer -- on the website Protect Downtown Athens. That's where you'll find information about the issue and also a link to hear or download the song (look at the top right corner of the home page). Seems a small price to pay to hear this gem.

This is Hood's first release since he put the Truckers' on hiatus for a short while. He has assured me and other journalists that the band is not breaking up. Each member just wants to regroup and spend some time on solo projects before the Truckers' gear up again.

Like most fans, I mourn the Truckers' downtime but wow -- what a heartfelt side trip Hood is taking us on.

For me, anyway, it couldn't come at a better time.

Watching the Grammy Awards, I couldn't help but get on Twitter and read the buzz. What bugged me were the Tweets  patting Grammy organizers on their collective backs for "always" including tributes to formidable musicians of the "past" including Glen Campbell, Willie Nelson and Whitney Houston.

If it was only true.

Cheering that Nelson -- who should be the star of every true awards show -- has finally been featured in a commercial seems to me the height of foolishness. And honoring the gravely ill Campbell and the deceased Houston? Sorry, but talk about too little too late. Let's not even get into Michael Jackson, the one-time national joke who is now revered but not enough for a mention (at least that I heard) on the Grammys.

Listen to "After It's Gone." It may have been written about Athens but applies to so much more. 

Views: 2801

Tags: By, Drive, Hood, Patterson, REM, Sonic, Truckers, Youth

Comment by Tommie Staccato on February 15, 2012 at 8:40am

Neil says : there is so much more to the picture than meets the eye - but we need people to tell it !

Comment by Jason Graumlich on February 15, 2012 at 8:49am

God Bless Patterson Hood

Comment by bumfit on February 15, 2012 at 5:44pm

great tune from a great songwriter, sad though, that it's come to this.

Comment by Will James on February 15, 2012 at 6:20pm

I've had this on my FB page for a week now. Main Street can still be saved. Ck out and their 4-point approach to get it rolling. And their national conference coming up in Baltimore April 1-4. It can happen if y'all get together and make it happen. Thanks Patterson for the push.

Comment by Nancy Dunham on February 15, 2012 at 6:25pm

Thanks for taking the time to comment, guys. 

Comment by L A Johnson on February 16, 2012 at 2:42pm

Awesome - Widespread Panic fine band.

Comment by Shawn Edward Cote on February 17, 2012 at 6:01am

Nice Piece.  Young musicians--or any artist for that matter--could do a lot worse than take a page from the Book of Hood.  

Comment by Tom Hallett on February 17, 2012 at 2:12pm

I interviewed Patterson several years back and found a bright, intelligent, witty artist on the genius level of art and music. We were doing a phone interview, at the time I was in Indiana, running a pirate radio station for shits and giggles on the side as I worked three or four different writing jobs. I took a chance and asked Patterson if he'd do an on-air promo for our station, and he said no problem. Taking license with one of his own songs, he cheerfully drawled, "This is Patterson Hood of the Drive-By Truckers. You're listening to Earwig Radio Zero, and every goddamned word is true!" I love all the Truckers, but Patterson is a true soul-mate and went on to prove himself and the band world-wide. I feel so lucky to have spoken to him back then, and thirst for each and every new release the band puts out. Let them take a little break anytime they want to- they certainly deserve it, and every goddamned word is true! Go Truckers!!

Comment by Greg Reilly on February 17, 2012 at 4:29pm

Goodonya, Patterson Hood. So often we don't realise what we had until it's gone.We've just lost one of our great roots record stores here in Melbourne, Australia, The Last Record Store, in inner-city Collingwood. What a tragedy!

Comment by Nancy Dunham on February 17, 2012 at 7:06pm

Yes, the Truckers are going on hiatus -- partially on it now -- though they are fulfilling obligations of course. Here's a story I wrote about it.

Thanks again for all the comments guys! 


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Created by No Depression Feb 17, 2009 at 9:06pm. Last updated by No Depression Sep 24, 2012.