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>> AFTER A YEAR OF SOLO PROJECTS, DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS PULL IN TO WASHINGTON FOR THREE-NIGHT GIG page 2
Drive-By Truckers plays a three-night gig at 9:30 Club

 The Drive-By Truckers are closing out the new year with the help of three opening acts.
Andy Tennille
Visit the Photo Place

Date published: 12/27/2012

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Other songwriters have cycled through the Truckers' lineup, most notably Jason Isbell and Shonna Tucker, but Cooley and Hood have always been the group's musical core. They're allies and foils, sharing a common set of influences--a mix of old-school country, soul and Southern rock--while differing in their approach. Hood is the band's blustery preacher, animating every song with outstretched hands and a Bible Belt drawl, while Cooley is the understated sidekick, crooning his way through wry tunes about down-and-out characters.

While Cooley and Hood toured the country, the other Truckers also kept themselves busy. Keyboardist Jay Gonzalez released his own album, "Mess of Happiness," and drummer Brad Morgan bounced between several side projects, including a construction gig building customized road cases for other bands. Whenever any of the Truckers played their own shows in Georgia, several of their bandmates would either join them onstage or look on from the audience.

"I'm really a huge fan of all of the folks in my band," Hood enthused. "[Pedal steel guitarist] John Neff plays in numerous bands in Athens, and I always stand in front of his side of the stage and watch him, because I don't get to really see him play when it's a DBT show. Same goes with Brad Morgan. He's our drummer and is always right behind me, but he has some side projects and I love seeing him play.

"I love Jay Gonzalez's solo album and shows," he continued, psyching himself up for the Drive-By Truckers' final shows of 2012. "I was a huge Dexateens fan, and now their bass player [Matt Patton] plays with us. Damn, I have a great band. I hope they don't ever fire me."

Andrew Leahey is a freelance writer for Weekender and a musician.


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What: Drive-By Truckers When: Dec. 30-31 (Dec. 29 is sold out) Where: 9:30 Club, 815 V St. N.W., Washington, D.C. Cost: Dec. 30, $35. Dec. 31, $55; complimentary champagne toast at midnight Info: 930.com