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CD Review: Drive-By Truckers

The Fine Print: A Collection of Oddities and Rarities (New West)

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When Drive-By Truckers aren't playing on Booker T. or Bettye LaVette's albums, they've got a good thing of their own going. They're easily one of the hardest-working bands in music today and seem to have an endless slate of tour dates. They've released multiple albums in the past half-dozen years and are currently working on another one, due out next year. So now's the time for a rarties collection and, in true Drive-By Truckers fashion, it's more than just thrown together during a break. The band returned to the studio and completed a few of the dozen tracks on The Fine Print. Patterson Hood's "George Jones Talkin' Cell Phone Blues" is a hard-charging intro to the set, while "The Great Car Dealer War" is a menacing mid-album stomper. Jason Isbell's "TVA" and "When the Well Runs Dry" serve as gentle reminders that Drive-By Truckers were better when he was in the fold. "Rebels" is a great take on a Tom Petty song (which the Truckers originally recorded for the TV show King of the Hill), while their rendition of Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" is imbued with a sense of slow Southern pity instead big-city spite. The Fine Print doesn't feel tossed off. It sounds like another installment in the Truckers' fine oeuvre.

Jeremy Willets

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