The Drive-By Truckers' unmistakable southern musical roots and gothic inclinations have long made Patterson Hood and associates the leading rock 'n' roll chroniclers of dissipation and desperation below the Mason-Dixon. But around the time of 2008's Brighter Than Creation's Dark, DBT finally started getting credit for writing songs whose characters' struggles and frustrations were universal regardless of their Dixie specifics and Skynyrd musical legacy. It is with this spring's The Big To-Do (ATO) that the band's compositions address angst that rings true in any climate: dead end work ("This Fucking Job"), infidelity ("You Got Another"), abandonment ("Daddy Learned To Fly"), debilitating obsessions ("The Fourth Night of My Drinking"). Along the way, the Truckers have grown from a regional curiosity to one of the premier rock bands of this era: stoking gutsy rock 'n' roll with critical bits of country and blues; writing compelling, pointed songs; tearing into it all with fire and adding a little lyrical brimstone for good measure. Opening will be the Henry Clay People, a California quartet led by brothers Andy and Joey Siara, who have no apparent connection to the 19th century Whig politician or mud-made humans. But the band does rock with ragged and raucous intensity on Somewhere on the Golden Coast (TBD), which is packed with affable barroom anthems.
Thu., Sept. 30, 6 p.m., 2010