On this episode of the In Conversation podcast, I sat down for a pleasant conversation with Patterson Hood of The Drive-By Truckers. Patterson joined me to talk about the band’s 14th studio album Welcome 2 Club XIII, out now on ATO Records.
Throughout their career, Patterson and his songwriting partner Mike Cooley have written dense character studies of people just trying to get by in the American South. For close to 30 years as a band, The Drive-By Truckers have always been one of alternative music’s most celebrated fiercely political bands, writing about larger issues on a local level.
During the Trump presidency, they released a trilogy of albums that focused on issues such as police brutality, children in cages at the border and the rise of white nationalism. With Welcome 2 Club XIII, the Patterson and Cooley have cleared the decks so to speak, with their most personal collection of songs they have ever put to tape. But while they talk about their own lives, they still find ways to relate moments of the past to their current state of the US in crisis.
In this conversation, Patterson discusses the recording of Welcome 2 Club XIII, the state of affairs in the US, his long creative relationship with Cooley, and his thoughts on the new album by Kendrick Lamar.