Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Album Review: Drive-By Truckers - Plan 9 Records July 13, 2006

Drive-By Truckers 
Plan 9 Records July 13, 2006
**** out of *****

When the bands co-front man Patterson Hood makes the statement "The Live at Plan 9 recording is the best recording I have ever heard of the 2001-2006 version of the Drive-By Truckers" you take notice. A band who has gone through various iterations, DBT have made their bones by non-stop touring and leaving it all on the stage. More recent incarnations of the band have produced some amazing live albums, and while Plan 9 Records July 13, 2006 is not up to It's Great To Be Alive's heights, some fans may cherish it more as it includes the amazing talents of Jason Isbell. 

There is no doubting the bands studio records from this time are their strongest with three songwriters and this live show, a benefit for The Harvey Foundation in Plan 9 Records for only a few hundred fans, captures the rock outfit clicking on all cylinders. The twenty five song set keeps pumping out classic DBT fare as each song gets varying levels of raw rock, country heartache and twangy folk. 

Opening with the pedal steel lead of John Neff on "Tales Facing Up" the harmonies Isbell and Shonna Tucker brought in are evident from the get go, overflowing into "One of These Days". The band eases into the rock with some honky-tonk on "Aftermath USA" and a slowed down "Gravity's Gone" while the swaying "Why Henry Drinks" must have gotten the glasses raised all around the record store on this night. 

Two early highlights are Hood's advice giving, life loving ode "World of Hurt" and Isbell's fatherly tips of "Outfit", both ringing honest and true. Later on "Shut Up And Get On The Plane" and "Let There Be Rock" are raucous vibrating with energy propelled by drummer Brad Morgan. Mike Cooley's "Zip City" rips around the three guitar attack while Isbell's duo of "Goddamn Lonely Love" and "Decoration Day" are stunners. The finale "Lookout Mountain" revved up the room ending on a super high peak of metallic wailing and wah wah pedals as the guitars fire out into the ethos.  

There are some missteps like any full on live show, "Marry Me" gets a bit wonky after a fun breakdown and "The Day John Henry Died" and "Wednesday" chug along yet never elevate, but overall this collection of mid era Truckers is dynamite. The groups heartfelt cover of The Rolling Stones "Moonlight Mile" is worthy on it's own, never before being officially released by the Truckers.  

The band was paid a case of PBR and two bottles of whiskey to play this show and the results speak for themselves as Hood states, "It was by far our favorite show of the year and all these years later, I think it is one of the best performances from that era of the band". Hard to argue against that. 
Support the band, buy the album and peep some video:

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