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January 8th, 2014 JEFF ROSENBERG | Top 5
 

Top Five Essential Patterson Hood Songs

music_top5hood_4010IMAGE: Andy Tennille
“The Living Bubba,” Gangstabilly (1998)
The Drive-By Truckers’ creation myth, anchoring their debut album with the doomed but galvanizing tale of an AIDS-stricken working musician, with its determined refrain: “I’ve got another show to do.”

 

“The Three Alabama Icons,” Southern Rock Opera (2001)
Amid Act I of the band’s breakthrough “opera,” over a nearly naked three-chord riff, Hood delivers a plainspoken yet profound soliloquy about growing up Alabaman in the era of George Wallace, Bear Bryant and Ronnie Van Zant, musing on “the duality of the Southern Thing.” 

 

“Tornadoes,” The Dirty South (2004) 
On this song, originally written for his pre-DBT band, Adam’s House Cat, in 1988, Hood really leans into the vocal, elevating the scattershot narrative of a fearsome storm to the level of historical import, rather than soon-forgotten news fodder. 

 

“Puttin’ People on the Moon,” The Dirty South 
This driving rocker, from the album that’s perhaps the band’s most coherent statement, sets the title’s cliché aflame as Hood, seething with resigned rage, spits a horror story of economic and environmental catastrophe. 

“Drag the Lake, Charlie,” The Big To-Do (2010)
The best kind of Southern Gothic death-rocker, in which the latest eruption of dysfunction and violence is as mundane a nuisance as the damn mosquitoes.
 
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