For 14 years and 11 albums, Drive-By Truckers have been producing everything that is right about modern country.
As far removed from the plastic smiles and sequinned camp of Nashville’s big hat-wearing acts as it’s possible to get, their grizzled, soulful take on the genre is as warm and comforting as a nice glass of good bourbon, while retaining enough rough and ready rockisms for a decent old time bar-room brawl.
The vocals veer from the wobbly whine of the laid back, engrossing literary murder ballad The Fireplace Poker to the chest-beating U2-with-soul, gospel-tinged drama of Everybody Needs Love. There’s the hints of musical theatre from the honeyed tones of Shonna Tucker on the heart-wrenching Where’s Eddie to the gruff, manly, sleazy Johnny Cash sentimentality of Cartoon Gold, adding up to a gorgeous palate of colour that’s as easy to slip into as a hot bath.
If you’ve resisted the charms of country rock so far, Go-Go Boots is a brilliant place to start if you feel like broadening your horizons.