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More songwriters make for a merrier Drive-By Truckers

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

Posted: Friday, September 12, 2014

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It's the rare songwriter that's willing to give up real estate on his or her band's new album. But Drive-By Truckers' Patterson Hood is one of those exceptions.

Hood says he's "thrilled" that "English Oceans," the Georgia quartet's 10th studio album, features a bunch of songs by fellow singer-guitarist Mike Cooley -- seven of the set's 13 songs, in fact. That marks the first time Cooley has out-paced Hood, and Hood says it's high time.

"I've been thrilled having that many Cooley songs to work with on the record," says Hook, 50, who formed the band with Cooley during 1996. "I can make a solo record, y'know I prefer a band record to be as much a band record as possible.

"And I love his songs. I'm probably his biggest fans. And I enjoy the parts of the show when I get to be the guitar player and sing harmonies, probably even more than when I'm the front guy. So it's been cool having a bunch of new Cooley songs to play."

Hood acknowledges that his bandmate's contributions have been "slow in coming for awhile. He had a real long period where he just wasn't writing for s***." But Hood blames that on DBT's busy road schedule and feels that a recent break the group took from touring allowed Cooley to get past whatever block had developed.

"Writing on the road is hard, period," Hood notes, "and then when you get home, especially if you have a family, there's a huge list of things that need to be done, and then it's time to get back out (on tour). So it took us having enough time off to where that list could be done and there could be a little bit of down time when you can write.

"People are different; I can write a song in 15 or 30 minutes. But it's tough, and Cooley is particularly prone to not being able to write on the road or with any kind of distractions going on. But this (album) shows what he can do when he has the time to really hunker down and be creative and come up with the great stuff he's capable of."

Drive-By Truckers and Lee Bains III & the Glory

Saturday, Sept. 13. Doors open at 8 p.m.

Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St.

Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 day of show, $45 reserved mezzanine

Call 248-399-2980 or visit www.royaloakmusictheatre.com

Web Site: www.royaloakmusictheatre.com

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