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Heat Lightning Rumbles in the Distance

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Editors’ Notes

As the most distinctive voice in the multitalented Drive-By Truckers, Patterson Hood turns down the amps for his solo work. He strips down the arrangements and often explores his acoustic side, as made clear by the shuffling "Better Than the Truth" and the piano–and–acoustic guitar pressure cooker "Betty Ford." With a natural gift for vernacular lyrics, he sets short stories to music. "12:01" opens things with a Fender Rhodes following Hood past the midnight hour. An ominous riff guards the foreboding "Disappear," a tune that breaks into quick but rewarding harmonies. "Better Off Without" starts with a single chiming piano note (think "I Wanna Be Your Dog") as Hood sings a song of freedom. Best of all is the heartbreaking "Come Back Little Star," a duet with Kelly Hogan; it pays tribute to departed singer/songwriter Vic Chesnutt with a piano and pedal steel guitar that sound like tears falling to the floor. 


Born: March 24, 1964

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Best known as leader of the Drive-By Truckers, songwriter Patterson Hood was born into a musical family, with his father (David Hood) serving as the longtime bassist for studio legends the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section. Patterson began writing songs at the tender age of eight, and by the time he was 14 he was playing guitar in a local rock band. While attending college in 1985, he formed the band Adam's House Cat with his friend Mike Cooley, and the group won Musician Magazine's Best Unsigned Band...
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