It's been 15 years since Drive-By Truckers released its debut album, "Gangstabilly," and frontman Patterson Hood -- who co-founded the band during 1996 with fellow singer-guitarist Mike Cooley -- says the Truckers are as tuned up and riding as smoothly as they ever have.
It's been a long road but, y'know, things are good," says Hood, 49, whose father David played bass for the famed Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section. "How many bands are excited about their 12th record, y'know? I don't know if any one else is, but we are. We're really excited about the album and just being a band right now."
That new album, which Hood says is finished but untitled and should be out in late February or early March, will be the band's first since the one-two punch of "The Big To-Do" in 2010 and "Go-Go Boots," from the same sessions, in 2011. "We wanted to do a two-week record after doing two records at once the last time, which was like a two-year process," Hood explains. "That was something we felt like we had to do at the time but is definitely not what we wanted to do this time -- or probably ever again.
"So this one came together really happily and quickly and was a lot of fun. We more or less pounded it out live in the studio, like we did 'Gangstabilly. And actually it wasn't a studio, it was recorded in a warehouse, and it turned out good."
The set will also be the Truckers' first with new bassist Mike Patton, who replaced Shonna Tucker in 2012. "He's great in the studio," Hood reports. "He's a really good player, and he's got good producer instincts. And he grins in the studio just like he does when we play live, so that's a great energy to have around when we're working."
Drive-By Truckers and the Old 97s perform Friday at the Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance, $29 at the door. Call 248-399-2980 or visit www.royaloakmusictheatre.com.
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