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2009 collection of rarities. Drive By Truckers (DBT) have been making music together for 13 years resulting in seven critically acclaimed studio albums which could not contain all of the songs written by the band. DBT recently dug into the New West Records vaults and put finishing touches on a selection of songs that were never quite completed. The result of the collaboration is The Fine Print (A Collection Of Oddities and Rarities 2003-2008), a 12 track album of previously unreleased and rare songs. The Fine Print features songs written by band members past and present, including Patterson Hood, Mike Cooley and Jason Isbell. Seven of the songs come from the Dirty South era, a highly creative time for DBT. The record also contains four covers including 'Rebels' (Tom Petty).
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Many times these collections from bands don't work that well but that is not the case here. I think the layout of the album is excellent which in my opinion makes the album flow together well. Overall, some excellent songs from the vaults.
The standout DBT songs to me at this point are:
- George Jones Talking Cell Phone Blues - Excellent country rocker from Patterson Hood to kick off the album.
- TVA & When the Well Runs Dry - 2 Excellent Jason Isbell songs. If you enjoyed this period of the DBT you should appreciate these songs. The lyrics to TVA are great.
I think what puts this album over the top for me are the covers:
Play it All Night Long - A Classic Warren Zevon song which DBT absolutely tear up.
Mama Bake a Pie (Daddy Kill a Chicken) - A Tom T. Hall tune which I was not familiar with but great lyrics about a soldier coming home from Vietnam. Very well done.
Like a Rolling Stone - At first I was thinking, Great just what I need is another version of this song but it is Done really nicely with Patterson Hood, Shonna Tucker, Jason Isbell and Mike Cooley each taking a verse and then coming together at the end.. Very nicely done.
I think if you are a DBT fan, it is a must have. I don't think you will be disappointed. If you haven't been exposed to DBT yet and not familiar with their music, I think this isn't a bad place to start!
It is the covers, however, which push this album to another level. "Rebels" may be the perfect choice for a DBT cover, with every lyric sounding as if it could have been written by Hood's pen in the first place. "Mama Bake A Pie" is an effective war protest song, more subtle than Hood's anti-war efforts from "Brighter Than Creation's Dark". "Play It All Night Long", a live powerhouse, pays tribute to Zevon while lending a Southern edge. And amazingly enough, the cover of "Like A Rolling Stone" works, which in itself is a testament to the band.
This album fails to touch the Holy Three (Southern Rock, Decoration, Dirty) nor does it achieve the majesty of "Brighter", but it is a solid effort and finds that the band has deep pockets.
My upstairs neighbor is making a racket-it's NFL season after all. I sit here in my underwear on my 14th beer of the day with DBT. I'm a rich man.
The last time we'll ever hear Isbell/Patterson/Cooley on the same disc...and it's beautiful.
on classic songs. The two "alternate" versions are almost identical to the
originals. "Uncle Frank" is a masterpiece from "Pizza Deliverance" but this
version just sounds murky in a bad sort of way. I did really enjoy the Tom T.
Hall cover "Mama bake a pie..." Patterson Hood did a great job finding and
performing this one, but most of this stuff is forgettable.
To hear Hood talk these songs up in the liner notes - you would think one could not live without this disc. I am here to say you can... and probably
SHOULD live without this record unless you are a diehard fan who has to have