“A stream of conscious wallop of
redneck beat poetry”: The Truckers make high art on their Cooley-centric
special single, available only at indie record shops for Record Store Day,
April 17. Jeezus, look at that sleeve.
By Andy Tennille
April is already a month chock-full of holidays, what with April Fools Day
kicking off the month, MerleFest and JazzFest winding it down and that Sunday
in between when that bunny shits chocolate eggs on everyone’s front lawn.
In the midst of all that revelry, vinyl geeks and rock stars will unite on
April 17 for Record Store Day, the
annual celebration in support of record stores around the world. Check here to
see what some of your favorite artists are saying about Record Store Day,
and here to see if
your local shop is participating.
Drive-By Truckers are ardent
supporters of record stores worldwide, so it would make sense – what
with their new album, The Big To-Do, issued a couple of weeks ago
– that the Athens, GA rockers might have something special up their
sleeve for this year’s festivities.
So what’s it gonna be – a free acoustic performance at Schoolkids in Athens? Signing copies of
their new album at Amoeba in San
Francisco? A special screening of “The
Secret to A Happy Ending,” a documentary about the band being
released this spring?
How about the much-anticipated solo debut of The Stroker Ace, aka
co-founding guitarist Mike Cooley!
“Coming soon,” Cooley told BLURT in a recent sit
down. “It’s done.”
Though at the time tight-lipped on the details, Cooley said the band will be
issuing the special release on April 17 in time for Record Store Day.
“It’s not an album, it’s not a full-length record. It’s not even an
EP,” he added. “There’s no way I can describe it. You’ll think
I’m fucking with you if I start describing it. You’ll just have to see. The
only thing I’ll tell you is this – it’s high art.”
“It’s definitely that,” confirmed Truckers frontman Patterson Hood
with a laugh. “It’s so high art that John Neff plays the sitar.”
True their word, the news arrived this weekend of the Truckers’ special
Record Store Day release, pictured above. Wow. That’s some feather boa, Cooley.
Hood sent out a missive to fans explaining the project:
From Patterson Hood:
We are proud to be a part of this year’s Record Store Day. Like the Bald
Eagle and Healthcare Reform we almost let it get away before pulling out the
stops and saving them in the nick of time. The Bald Eagle has returned in fine
form, but independent record stores are STILL an endangered species. Every year
more and more of these precious national resources are shuttered and closed.
Just last month I heard that one of my favorites is in dire straits.
This year we will be releasing a very special single for Record Store Day, but
first let me take you back in time to January of 2009. Bush was still in the
White House and Sully was an anonymous pilot working his job. Drive-By Truckers
were toiling away in the studio beginning what would become their 10th album.
One night a strange alignment of stars interacted with the perfect chemical
component setting off a chain reaction of events, fitfully captured on 2″
magnetic tape stock as the wily Producer handed over a vintage handheld
microphone to a celebratory Mike Cooley during the playback of a new
instrumental Shonna Tucker composition which said band had just duly nailed in
a fit of R&B perfection never beheld before and WHALAH!!!
Almost everyone in that room knew that magic had just occurred. A stream of
conscious wallop of redneck beat poetry. A channeling of the early morning rant
of a Georgia
taxi driver concerning the closing of another local industry into a form both
compelling and idyllic in its inspiration, articulation and execution. YOUR
WOMAN IS A LIVIN’ THING became nearly everyone in the band’s favorite song of
the 30+ songs we recorded last year. Would it go on The Big To-Do or perhaps be the
fitting end to Go-Go
“Neither,” said Mike Cooley. “No one will ever hear it but us.
It’s for us and us only”.
But Goddamn, Cooley!
Months of negotiation (much like healthcare) but the stubborn NO held until…
An eleventh hour compromise:
See, Cooley loves Record Stores too. He deemed that YOUR WOMAN IS A LIVIN’
THING be released on vinyl and vinyl only to independent record stores to
celebrate that most special of nationally recognized days. He was so excited, he
even went home and wrote and recorded a B-Side (JUST MAYBE) just for the
BLURT has been told that in addition
to their Record Store Day release, the Drive-By Truckers are rumored to be doing an
in-store on April 17 at the mighty Harvest Records, located in west Asheville,
NC. (The band is in Asheville the 16th and 17th for a two-night run at the Orange
Peel venue.) Check out the store on the web at www.harvest-records.com.