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Drive-By Truckers Make a Two-Day Pit Stop at the Vic

By Chuck Sudo in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 24, 2011 9:43PM

Drive-By Truckers in 2008. (Chuck Sudo/Chicagoist)

They've been called "the greatest rock 'n' roll band in America." Since the departure of Jason Isbell in 2007, Drive-By Truckers has also been one of the hardest working bands in the country, releasing an album a year since 2008. In the songwriting hierarchy of the Truckers, Isbell, a gifted songwriter with a knack for mainstream rock sensibility, was always fated to play George Harrison to the Lennon/McCartney of bandleader Patterson Hood and his lieutenant, Mike Cooley.

Hood, in particular, has taken the post-Isbell Truckers back to its early days of synthesizing Southern rock and country. Hood has his feet square of the terra firma of the latter, while Cooley brings the twang. They brought back Jon Neff to handle third guitar and slide duties, while bassist (and Isbell's ex-wife) Shonna Tucker has emerged as a budding singer and songwriter of her own (although her voice does take some getting used to).

Touring in support of their new release, Go-Go Boots, Drive-by Truckers comes to Chicago for a two-night stand at the Vic tomorrow and Saturday. They bring the goods live. Our big dilemma was deciding whether to see them now or wait until they come back to town and play a street fare. We'd rather see the truckers in the confines of people who are there for them, and not as background music for a summer hookup.

Drive-By Truckers with opening act Heartless Bastards play the Vic Theatre (3145 N. Sheffield) tomorrow and Saturday. Showtime is at 8 p.m. Tickets are available here.