Jan 22: Drive-by Truckers released Brighter Than Creation’s Dark in 2008


“That man I shot, I didn’t know him
I was just doing my job,
maybe so was he”

Brighter Than Creation’s Dark is the seventh studio album released by Drive-By Truckers. It was released on January 22, 2008 in the United States. Recorded during and after the acoustic Dirt Underneath Tour, the album features a more stripped down, and country based sound not seen since their sophomore releasePizza Deliverance.

A Ghost to Most (official video):

The album’s title is taken from a line in a Mike Cooley song entitled “Checkout Time in Vegas”. Wes Freed once again provided the album artwork. According to guitarist Patterson Hood, the band’s decision on the name of the album was greatly influenced by the Freed’s artwork. Hood also said that the album was recorded with much ease and did not require compromises.

Perfect Timing (Official video):

The album was released as both a compact disc as well as a double vinyl. The band embarked on a worldwide tour entitled “The Home Front Tour” throughout the entirety of 2008 in support of Brighter Than Creation’s Dark.

The Righteous Path (live ACL):

Many people feared that Drive-by Truckers wouldn’t be able to handle the departure of Jason Isbell, but even if he was (and is) a tremendously gifted artist, DBT is foremost the band of two other equally gifted singer/songwriters, Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley. And this album is proof that they could manage very well without Isbell.

Brighter Than Creation’s Dark contains some of the band’s best work to date. The lyrics are exceptional, especially on The Home Front and That Man I Shot, both about the war in Iraq directly or indirectly. Patterson Hood is a great storyteller and he’s not affraid to go into the murky areas of the mind.

What’s more is that Shonna Tucker stepped up both as a singer and songwriter. She has three songs on the record, the best of them beeing the magnificent The Purgatory Line.

From allmusic.com:
by Mark Deming

The album’s strength is a pleasant surprise given the departure of guitarist and tunesmith Jason Isbell, who had become one of the group’s most interesting writers, but founding members Hood and Mike Cooleyhave risen to the occasion with some excellent new songs, and bassist Shonna Tucker (who’s also Isbell’s ex-wife) steps forward as a composer and lead vocalist on this set with three great songs about broken hearts and the stuff that follows in their wake. Opening with “Two Daughters and a Beautiful Wife,” a song by Hood sung from the perspective of a man who has just died and wonders what will become of his family, Brighter Than Creation’s Dark presents 19 portraits of folks struggling to make sense of an increasingly chaotic world, ranging from an alcoholic father (“Daddy Needs a Drink”) and a family man struggling to hold onto a little piece of the American dream (“The Righteous Path”) to a middle-aged guy whose gotten a little too used to being lonely (“Bob”) and an illegal gun dealer running short on options (“Checkout Time in Vegas”). While the Truckers are still a great full-tilt hard rock band, Brighter Than Creation’s Dark finds them slowing down and turning down a bit more than usual, and in this case it works well for them — the homey twang of “Lisa’s Birthday” and “I’m Sorry Huston” gives new guitarist and pedal steel player John Neff a chance to shine, and the light acoustic arrangement of “Perfect Timing” fits the lyrical portrait of a cheerfully flawed man just fine. (READ MORE)

It is a long album, but has three very good songwriters who oozes confidence and willingness to show what they can do. 19 interesting stories about people.

Here is a concert from Toad’s Place in New Haven, barely two months after the albums release:

From The Internet Archive

“now they’re saying on the flat screen
they ain’t found a reason yet
we’re all bogged down in a quagmire
and there ain’t no end to it
no 9/11 or uranium to pin the bullshit on
she’s left standing on the home front
the two of them alone” 
– The Home Front

The Album on Spotify:

– Hallgeir

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