With Southern gothic rockers Drive-By Truckers opening up, Tom Petty may expose a more virulent strain of his Southern roots on this tour, which follows the release of Mojo, more or less the 20th release in his band's 35-year history. As a populist rock 'n' roller, Petty often suppressed his Southernisms in his Byrds/Stones/Band leanings, except in rare cases like 1985's Southern Accents. But Petty reconnected with his inner Skynyrd to some extent when he revived his pre-Heartbreakers band Mudcrutch a couple of years ago. And Mojo reveals a strong presence of the blues, the odd country shuffle ("Candy"), and lots of Southern rock details, such as the multiple-guitar forays on the opener, "Jefferson Jericho Blues," a chugging blues-rocker about Thomas Jefferson's sexual indiscretions. There's also a great country-blues tune ("U.S. 41"), the Muddy Waters-like "Takin' My Time," and a blistering, dirty swamp ramble ("I Should Have Known It"). On initial impression, Mojo sounds like it'll rank up there among Petty classics, which will also undoubtedly surface throughout the show. And if the Truckers and Heartbreakers don't collaborate somewhere along the line, Ronnie Van Zant himself is gonna show up and kick their butts.
Tue., June 22, 7:30 p.m., 2010