The Drive By Truckers have achieved a storied, decades long career filled with both critical and commercial success, and aside from some personnel changes in the early years, the constant throughout has been the magic of The Dimmer Twins – co-frontmen Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley.
After playing together for some 30 years, the two men have developed a southern Mick and Keith vibe and telepathic connection which serves the band superbly.
Yet their talents shine just as bright apart as together, and today kicks off two nights of experiencing the Sativa vs. Indica-like effects of each artist, and their catalog of songs.
Closing in on a decade as a Portland resident, Hood plays tonight, Wednesday May 6th, at 6 pm PST in a show with a title seemingly plucked from the air(osmith) – “Destroys in the Attic.”
Live from his “Heathen Attic” in his SE Portland home, Hood will play a wide range of both his work with Drive By Truckers, and songs from his solo albums as well.
Hood’s songs, and his honest and hilarious stories shared between them are reminiscent of a strong Sativa – pleasurably existing in the space between gleefully energetic and borderline overstimulated with a racing mind.
He’s spoken openly about his struggles with depression, as well as the joy and majesty that his family and work life have provided. He’s also spoken with me about his fondness for cannabis, and how his use of it has changed over the years.
In the end, Hood artfully acknowledges the darkness, while wholeheartedly embracing the hard earned, joyful sentiment he shouts from the stage during live performances in his song Grand Canyon, “It’s fucking great to be alive”.
Mike Cooley aka The Stoker Ace, has a honeyed Alabama voice which soothes like a relaxing Kush. On Friday, May 8th at 5 PST, he’s playing his own show from his home in Alabama.
His Drive By Truckers work leans towards the rocking and raucous, so this rare setting of simply the man and his guitar offer listeners a chance to experience the songs in a unique manner.
Powerhouse tracks that incite fist pumping played with the full band reveal nuanced natures in this setting. Anthemic tracks such as the barn burner “Shut Your Mouth And Get Your Ass On The Plane“, about the final, doomed flight of Lynyrd Skynyrd, reveal their often overlooked shades of poignancy when played solo.
Cooley’s storytelling is equally skillful, providing insights to the songs, The Dirty South, and his wry and hilarious take on things. Last year, he played a show at The Old Church in Portland, alternately singing to a hushed crowd, followed by booming laughter when explaining the true meaning of “Bless your heart” to the pews of predominantly Yankee attendees.