Drive-By Truckers, "Go-Go Boots"

Drive-By Truckers were so prolific during the making of last year's "The Big To-Do" that the Southern rockers spread the output over two separate albums. The good news is that "Go-Go Boots" is every bit as good as its predecessor-and maybe even a smidge better. The 14-track set's distinguishing characteristic is a soul flavor of the Muscle Shoals variety, a smooth fit given the role of frontman Patterson Hood's father, David Hood, in that community as well as DBT's own work with Bettye LaVette and Booker T. Jones. A gospel tinge washes over the ringing opener "I Do Believe," while the title track brings the funk and a pair of Eddie Hinton covers ("Everybody Needs Love" and "Where's Eddie?"), the latter sung by bassist Shonda Tucker, fortify the R&B homage. Mike Cooley's contributions ("Cartoon Gold," "The Weakest Man" and "Pulaski") are more straightforward country, and Hood takes his knack for cinematic details and plot twists to epic proportions on the lengthy cuts "Used to Be a Cop" and "The Fireplace Poker." The combination is nothing less than sublime.

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