Nouveau Southern rockers Drive-By Truckers have released a string of albums that grapple with the enduring enigma that is the American South. Highlighted by their magnum opus, Southern Rock Opera, the Truckers riff on the spirit and sound of Lynyrd Skynyrd, riding snarly, dueling guitars, a Faulkneresque sense of grand decay, and superb songwriting. Unapologetically Southern, DBT still pick relentlessly at the scabs of a so-called New South—or A Blessing and a Curse, as DBT's last album was dubbed. DBT won't have a new album out until next year. But on their current tour, the band promise to pare some of their old tunes down to their essence, play some new ones, and introduce a revised lineup minus songwriter/guitarist Jason Isbell, who left in the spring. DBT still sports a pair of fine writers in Mike Cooley and Patterson Hood, while renowned Muscle Shoals keyboardist Spooner Oldham seems to have become a de facto band member. Opening will be Ryan Bingham, a 25-year-old singer-songwriter-guitarist from the West Texas/New Mexico border region whose dusty drawl already sounds wizened and wise. His just-released debut, Mescalito (Lost Highway), is a terrific collection of hard-scrabble anthems that juggle country, rock, and blues punctuated by stinging electric and slide guitars. 18+.
Fri., Oct. 19, 8 p.m., 2007