Not letting this thread die.
To me the truckers epitomize that beauty of the American South. Some not familiar with the region will think rednecks, rodeos, coors light and while those are widely popular don’t get me wrong, its a place with a rich history of wonderful blue collar americana. Being from Athens, the Truckers utilize this to full advantage. Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley two of the greatest songwriters going today. The departure of Isbell hurt a bit, but in true Truckers fashion the band played on. From the poll above my fav 3 are below and my reasons why:
Decoration Day - While ‘Southern Rock Opera’ preceded this and saw the Truckers become a more focused, cohesive band than their previous releases (with some of the worst titles in album history), ‘Decoration Day’ was the first DBT album where they found a fan in life for me. Isbell, Hood and Cooley are regular tour de force here focusing on the dark, dark times growing up in the American South. Murder, suicide, divorce, fed up of politics all reign supreme here. Some of the aforementioned finest songwriting to date, an album I often revisit.
Dirty South - More of a focus on growing up on the wrong sides of the tracks in Muscle Shoals on this one. Drug dealing, moonshine stills getting raided, tornadoes, more dark times. You could honestly argue DBT holds the greatest consecutive 3 run album in the 21st century with ‘Southern Rock Opera’, ‘Decoration Day’ and this beauty.
**Better Than Creations Dark- ** Their first record without Jason Isbell who many thought was the driving force of this band (I always thought it was Patterson Hood), could have seem them crash and burn. Instead, Hood and Cooley take over with some of their best outlaw country ballads on this album. A welcoming addition of Spooner Oldham on the keys. We also see Shonna Tucker truly come to the forefront here. Providing great vocal arrangements backing Hood and Conley she also takes over lead on some fabulous tracks i.e. ‘I’m Sorry Huston’. Also, this album holds the Truckers greatest southern rock track on ‘The Man I Shot’. Tell me if you don’t hear twinges of Neil Young and Crazy Horse on that bad boy.
All in all, one of the greatest enduring acts going. If you have never seen them live, make it a priority. They play marathon concerts (probably seen them 8-10 times and never once was a show under 3 hours).
Also Jason Isbell’s first solo record ‘Sirens in the Ditch’ is phenomenal if you haven’t heard it.