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Drive-By Truckers: Go-Go Boots

ATO

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There's a calm, controlled quality to Go-Go Boots, the new LP from Athens' Drive-By Truckers. Historically, the band's drawn on the massive guitar epics of Skynyrd and company to create its signature brand of nu-Southern rock. But the time spent exploring the music history of Muscle Shoals, Ala., has given the Truckers a new groove. The band's first real departure, Go-Go Boots has been described by de facto band leader Patterson Hood as being the "country, soul and murder ballad" counterpart to last year's The Big To-Do. For the first time, the group's three stylistically diverse songwriters have created a shared sonic mood - it's warm and lucid, gallantly reverent to the South's soulful past. The band has always embraced earnestness, and it's led to the occasional awkward moment here and there. But Go-Go Boots is far from clumsy. In fact, it's the most focused thing DBT's released in years. (4 out of 5 stars)

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