Music » Music Stories

Drive-By Truckers

A Blessing and a Curse (New West)


The Drive-By Truckers have already established themselves as one of the best rock acts of the last half-decade; picking a favorite from their last three albums — 2001's Southern Rock Opera, 2003's Decoration Day and 2004's Dirty South — is a fool's errand. Yet the new A Blessing and a Curse may be the Truckers' most enduring album yet. Not as yoked to the Southern-fried, country-rock sound of previous discs, Curse features several gut-wrenching paeans that stand among the best in the band's catalog. Mike Cooley threatens to steal the show on "Gravity's Gone" with lyrics such as "Cocaine rich comes quick, and that's why the small dicks have it all," while Jason Isbell's "Daylight" is the album's biggest reach, an unabashed pop ballad with a whiff of the '80s in the B3 organs. But coming on the heels of Patterson Hood's downbeat ode to a friendship beyond repair ("Goodbye"), the hopeful "Daylight" shines bright. Indeed, Curse is full of bittersweet moments and eventual acceptance, themes epitomized by Hood's album-closing classic, "A World of Hurt." With a tears-in-your-beer lope, Hood embraces the maxim "to love is to feel pain." It's haunting and irresistible.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.