So far, Drive-By Truckers leader Patterson Hood’s solo LPs
have been less about making musical statements he couldn’t make within the band
perimeters and more about releasing all the songs he’s written that didn’t make
DBT albums. (That’s what happens when you share albums with two other
Heat Lightning Rumbles
in the Distance is no exception.
The only thing that keeps “After the Damage,” “Leaving Time” and “Better Than
the Truth” from being Truckers songs is the absence of a three-guitar
firestorm. The biggest departure is the beautiful “Come Back Little Star,”
which is driven by a melancholy piano and features co-vocals from Kelly Hogan,
but even that tune could easily be Truckerized.
Mind you, all this is noted not to knock Hood for any lack
of vision. Instead, it’s just an indication of how many strong songs he has in
the hopper, and how fans of his Truckers tunes will find much to love here.
Back Little Star,” “Better Than the Truth,” “Leaving Time” MICHAEL TOLAND