Drive-By Truckers' Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley Play Acoustic Show

(Radio.com) Guitarist/singer/songwriters Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley have been playing together for more than two decades, most notably as the co-frontmen of alternative/Southern rock band the Drive-By Truckers, the group they founded together in 1996. While they have a long history, they don't often perform together as just an acoustic duo. But this past Sunday (March 2) at City Winery in New York City, they did exactly that, taking the small stage with just their acoustic guitars.

Hood and Cooley were in town promoting the latest Drive-By Truckers album English Oceans, which is due out Tuesday (March 4). And, in fact, the show mostly served to showcase those songs.

A format like this would not have worked for the last few Truckers albums, as Hood has handled most of the songwriting in recent years. On English Oceans, however, the songwriting is split 50/50; so for the first time in a while, a Truckers show sticking with new songs would feature the duo taking an equal number of songs.

The fans seemed as excited by this new development as Hood did. As he told the crowd, he didn't want to start a new album until Cooley called. And when he did, not only did he report that he had songs, Hood said, he'd also booked studio time and scheduled their producer, David Barbe.

Cooley's songwriting took center stage from the beginning of the City Winery show, which, like the album, started with "S*** Shots Count" (written by Cooley), a powerful rocker that's reminiscent of one of the group's most popular songs, "3 Dimes Down." The studio version features a horn section, so this was a more intimate look at the song - one that, for instance, allowed the audience to really concentrate on Cooley's poetic but plain-spoken lyrics about middle American life (such as this gem: "Trophy tail wives taking boner pill rides for the price of a happy meal").

Later on, Cooley introduced the album's first single "Made Up English Oceans" by asking, "You remember that nasty-ass rumor about Rod Stewart from a few years ago?" And that gave a bit of (perhaps unnecessary) context to the line, "made up English stomach contents tied to senseless notions." more.

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Copyright Radio.com/CBS Local - Excerpted here with permission.

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