This represents the post-Jason Isbell era for Drive-By Truckers. And this songwriter of such great songs as "Outfit" off "Decoration Day" will certainly be missed.
But do not despair because the act's epic new collection (19 songs in total!) also introduces bassist Shonna Tucker as a solo singer. Her beautifully sad "I'm Sorry Huston" marks this newfound feminine touch as a welcome element within the overall DBT mix.
Patterson Hood is still the brightest diamond in this jewelry box. He gives us "The Righteous Path," about a regular guy just trying to do his best. His "Daddy Needs A Drink" is just as good as its title. Mike Cooley's fine "Bob" is about another regular guy who's "always had more dogs than friends." This one also leaves a positive impression.
Drive-By Truckers had become a really noisy rock & roll band by the time its "Dirty South" came along in 2004. And while "That Man I Shot" hearkens back to those louder days, "Lisa's Birthday" proves Drive-By Truckers do straight country songs as well as the best of 'em. "Brighter Than Creation's Dark" has an abundance of new material, most of it topnotch.