Drive-By Truckers “Southern Rock Opera”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#324 in the Series) is Drive-By Truckers, Southern Rock Opera

This is really an interesting project.  Drive-By Truckers had been around since 1996. They had released three albums. None that would make them household names, not even “trailerhold” names.

For years they (actually mostly band leader Patterson Hood) had been thinking about a project that would eventually go a long way to raising their popularity to what it is now.

That would be the double album Southern Rock Opera.  It was a tribute to the rock music of the south, leaning heavily toward Lynyrd Skynyrd.  It would not just feature Skynyrd, but southern rock and southern lifestyles in general.

As alluded to earlier, the band’s first three albums (two studio recordings, one live) didn’t make them rich, in fact, Southern Rock Opera almost did not survive to the streets.

They actually sold promissory notes to fans to help fund the project.  Investors would eventually include Widespread Panic. Eventually, 2o01 to be exact, Southern Rock Opera would be released.

Still going strong, last month Drive-By Truckers released a new album called Go-Go Boots. You can read about it HERE

Track listing

Disc one

  1. “Days of Graduation” (Hood)
  2. “Ronnie and Neil” (Hood)
  3. “72 (This Highway’s Mean)” (Cooley)
  4. “Dead, Drunk, and Naked” (Hood)
  5. “Guitar Man Upstairs” (Cooley)
  6. “Birmingham” (Hood)
  7. “The Southern Thing” (Hood)
  8. “The Three Great Alabama Icons” (Hood)
  9. “Wallace” (Hood)
  10. “Zip City” (Cooley)
  11. “Moved” (Malone)

Disc two

  1. “Let There Be Rock” (Hood)
  2. “Road Cases” (Hood)
  3. “Women Without Whiskey” (Cooley)
  4. “Plastic Flowers on the Highway” (Hood)
  5. “Cassie’s Brother” (Malone)
  6. “Life in the Factory” (Hood)
  7. “Shut Up and Get on the Plane” (Cooley)
  8. “Greenville to Baton Rouge” (Hood)
  9. “Angels and Fuselage” (Hood)



  • Mike Cooley – lyrics, vocals, guitar
  • Earl Hicks – bass
  • Patterson Hood – lyrics, vocals, guitar
  • Rob Malone – lyrics, vocals, guitar
  • Brad Morgan – drums

Guest performers

  • Kelly Hogan – vocals
  • Anne Richmond Boston – vocals
  • Jyl Freed – vocals
  • Amy Pike – vocals


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Posted by Larry Carta


  1. Simon Haddock (21 Jul 2011, 18:04)

    One hell of an album picked this up 9yrs ago from a local market.
    Since that time have got to see the band live and they are wonderful.
    Every thing that is good about southern rock…,. I would say still their best record to date.
    If anybody needs a reminder of how good real music should sound then check this out……….

  2. Mark (17 Oct 2011, 21:56)

    Great album. This one got me into the DBT’s and I have not looked back. Three guitars and being from the deep south get them the Skynyrd comparisons, but they are not Skynyrd. They don’t have Skynyrd;s boogie and Skynyrd didn’t write everyman songs of the calibur that DBT’s do. If american is in yoru musical wheel house these guys shoudl have it covered.

  3. Mike (19 Feb 2012, 15:31)

    This is the greatest record in the first decade of the 21st century. It contains not one single weak track. The only thing that might come close is another DBT release, They’ve continued to release nothing but quality..

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