Tim Clifford

Last year’s Southern Rock Opera is the album for which Drive-By Truckers will be remembered: a two-disc opus inspired by Lynyrd Skynyrd that doubled as a history of the post – Civil Rights-era South. Without such grand ambitions, their follow-up, Decoration Day, sags a bit under the weight of too many songs about life on the road.

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The Bucks Stop Here

Among the multiple-Grammy winners at last month’s ceremony were Bruce Springsteen, Norah Jones, and – get out your reference books – Charley Patton, the king of Delta blues, who died in 1934. Well, actually, the awards (Best Historical Album, Best Boxed Set, and Best Album Notes) went to the late John Fahey’s Revenant label, which released the seven-CD boxed set Screamin’ and Hollerin’ the Blues: The Worlds of Charley Patton. Unfortunately, with the anthology tipping the scales at $170, most of us will be left drooling on the display case.

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