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On the title track to Welcome 2 Club XIII, Drive-By Truckers pay homage to the Muscle Shoals honky-tonk where founding members Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley got their start: a concrete-floored dive lit like a disco, with the nightly promise of penny beer and truly dubious cover bands. “There were no cool bars in town and Club XIII was the best we had—but it wasn’t all that good, and our band wasn’t particularly liked there,” says Hood, referring to the vocalist/guitarists’ former band Adam’s House Cat. “From time to time the owner would throw us a Wednesday night or let us open for a hair-metal band we were a terrible fit for, and everyone would hang out outside until we were done playing. It wasn’t very funny at the time, but it’s funny to us now.” The 14th studio album from Drive-By Truckers—whose lineup also includes keyboardist/guitarist Jay Gonzalez, bassist Matt Patton, and drummer Brad Morgan—Welcome 2 Club XIII looks back on their formative years with both deadpan pragmatism and profound tenderness, instilling each song with the kind of lived-in detail that invites bittersweet reminiscence of your own misspent youth.
Lydia Loveless is an Ohio-bred singer-songwriter with five full-length records and numerous B-sides and singles under her purview. The unmistakable voice, an incisive way with melody, and an unrelenting willingness to cast the first stone inward are all hallmarks of Loveless’s songs. Her vocals meld between commanding and brash to delicate and introspective and subject matter entertains everything from broken hearts to messy dreams. Writing straight from the heartland, her brand of rock ranges from classic to alt-country to punk – a genre hard to nail down.
Her breakout release, Somewhere Else (2014) was followed by the critically acclaimed Real (2016). The albums were embraced by critics and listeners alike, with her fanbase growing to even include some of Loveless’ heroes like Lucinda Williams and Jason Isbell. Those luminaries would become tour mates as Loveless and her band lived out of suitcases, working tirelessly in support of these releases. A time filled with many exciting firsts like TV appearances (CBS This Morning: Saturday Sessions) and festivals (Stagecoach, AmericanaFest), broadening her fanbase and introducing her to many new fans. Unfortunately, that momentum would come crashing down as 2020 hit and the world came to a standstill.
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