This U.S. band is comprised of a bunch of rowdy southern rockers, who were obviously weaned on Lynyrd Skynyrd, Neil Young, and the Rolling Stones. The band's story began in the mid-80s at the University of North Alabama, when Patterson Hood (son of renowned Muscle Shoals session bass player David Hood) joined forces with fellow guitarist Mike Cooley. The duo formed the post-punk outfit Adam's House Cat, but failed to make much of an impact outside their local club scene. After several years apart, Hood and Cooley reunited in Athens, Georgia, in the mid-90s. They formed Drive-By Truckers in 1996, with John Neff (steel guitar), Adam Howell (bass), Matt Lane (drums), and Barry Sell (mandolin), fleshing out the line-up. The band wasted little time getting their recording career jumpstarted, releasing 1998's rollicking Gangstabilly, but their burgeoning popularity and increasingly demanding schedule fragmented the original line-up. Sell, Neff, Howell and Lane all left within a few months of each other, leaving Hood and Cooley to recruit Rob Malone (bass) and Brad Morgan (drums) to help record their follow-up, Pizza Deliverance. An excellent in-concert set, Alabama Ass Whuppin', confirmed the new line-up's potency. For their first release of the new millennium, 2001's double disc Southern Rock Opera, Hood came up with a concept album (an idea which was reportedly being kicked around for several years by the band), which addressed Southern stereotypes. Malone switched from bass to guitar to give the Drive-By Truckers a three-prong guitar attack, with long-time band associate Earl Hicks replacing him in the rhythm section. Malone left the band following the release of the album and was replaced by Jason Isbell. The band subsequently signed a new recording contract with Universal Records' alt-country imprint, Lost Highway, but has since signed on with New West in 2003. Their newest album, Decoration Day was released in June of 2003.
Decoration Day is the day many southern churches set aside to place flowers on the graves of their departed loved ones. DBT’s Decoration Day is 15 songs about the choices people make (good and bad) and their repercussions. The resulting album is an ambitious mix of the full-on "three guitar ROCK" that the band so prominently displayed on Southern Rock Opera and the more "countryish" elements from their earlier albums. The album features guest appearances from Muscle Shoals legend Spooner Oldham on the Wurlitzer Electric Piano, singer Clay Leverett, and fiddles from Centro-Matic's Scott Danbom. John Neff returns to play Pedal Steel on several cuts.