Drive-By Truckers The Fine Print (A Collection Of Oddities And Rarities 2003-2008)
Unlike most bands’ vault-clearing collections, Drive-By Truckers’ The Fine Print contains rarities that are truly rare: They’ve never been released in any form before, outside of live bootlegs. In addition to a handful of self-defining covers—Tom Petty’s “Rebels,” Warren Zevon’s “Play It All Night Long,” Bob Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone,” and Tom T. Hall’s “Mama Bake A Pie”—Drive-By Truckers have patched up some unfinished and/or abandoned songs from the past half-decade. But this isn’t also-ran material: The Fine Print opens with Patterson Hood’s roaring, cautionary “George Jones Talkin’ Cell Phone Blues,” and features two excellent songs about the larger meaning of dams—a socio-political take by Mike Cooley and a more personal one by Jason Isbell—as well as a wonderfully mournful Hood dissection of “The Great Car Dealer War.” The Fine Print runs just under an hour and is drawn from the outtakes of four different albums, yet it’s as cohesive and entertaining an album as Drive-By Truckers have ever released. It’s more off-the-cuff and less oppressively dark than the band’s other records, but the heartbeat is the same, pumping out loud, twangy rock songs about unsavory characters and their not-quite-attainable dreams.