Drive-By Truckers to play Steamboat Springs free concert Friday |

Drive-By Truckers to play Steamboat Springs free concert Friday

Luke Graham

The Free Summer Concert Series announced Drive-By Truckers

— After nearly two decades, the Drive-by Truckers still rock.

The Athens, Ga.-based band has turned a cult-like following into mainstream success. And even after all these years, their sound still resonates.

It's part rock ‘n’ roll, a smidge of country, some down-home blues and mighty soul all rolled into an experience.

Drive-by Truckers play the third installment of the Steamboat Springs Summer Concert Series on Friday at Howelsen Hill. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. with happy hour and two-for-one drinks running until 6:30 p.m. Robert Cline Jr. opens and will go on at about 6 p.m.

Fresh on tour, co-founder, guitarist and vocalist Patterson Hood took some time to chat with Explore Steamboat. It's a big summer for the band with a new album planned and an expanded vinyl release of the tremendous live album “Alabama Ass Whuppin'” scheduled for this year.

Explore Steamboat: Why such a push for the vinyl format?

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Patterson Hood: Because it’s the best format for seriously listening. I love my iPod and the mobility it brings, but for home listening, there’s nothing like a record. Also, I love the bigger format for artwork and liner notes, etc., that comes with vinyl.

ES: Why put out a remastered version of “Alabama Ass Whuppin'”?

PH: Because mastering technology has come a long way since we first put it out in 2000. We didn’t really have the money to master it properly anyway back then. We went back to the original half-inch master mix tape and sent it to Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound, and it sounds amazing. The original tapes were missing for most of a decade, and we thought forever. Upon retrieving them, we couldn’t believe how great the record sounded. The old CD was always so muddy and boomy sounding on the low end, I just figured that it was in the recording, but upon hearing the masters again after all these years, we realized it was in the outdated mastering. Now it sounds like you’re standing there in a dive bar in 1999 hearing us play really loud in front of you. I’m very pleased.

ES: What can people expect from the next release, especially after the universal success of your last albums "The Big To-Do" and "Go-Go Boots?"

PH: The new songs don’t really sound very much like those, other than still sounding like Drive-By Truckers. The band is in a more primal, stripped down place arrangement wise. I’m really happy with where the band is at right now. I can’t wait to go into the studio and record these new songs with our current incarnation. It’s going to be a good one.

ES: What music is on your iPod now?

PH: I’ve been home (Wednesday), so I’ve been playing my turntable. Right now, an old John Lee Hooker album on Stax. Earlier, I was playing “Gentlemen” by Afghan Whigs, which I recently found on vinyl. A great one. Have also been playing Kurt Vile’s new album and Jason Isbell’s new one a lot.

ES: The tour schedule is lighter than it used to be and solo projects are there. How long does it take to get back into things as a band?

PH: We just did a four-night run last week, and it was really great. The band is super tight these days, and we’re all having more fun than I can remember. I think the time off and the side projects have really helped Drive-By Truckers in many ways. I had a great time touring behind my album (“Heat Lightning Rumbles in the Distance”) and I know (co-founder Mike) Cooley has really enjoyed his solo shows a lot. The time at home has been really great too.

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email

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