Tuesday, July 03, 2007


If Jason Isbell's "Outfit" was a statement that the Drive-By Truckers had possibly found a talented third songwriter to add to the band, then his second song on Decoration Day confirmed it. That talent was real, real enough that they named the whole album after it.

"Decoration Day" is a rock song all the way. Electric guitars and minor chords and a simple bass pattern and pounding drums. And, oh, the guitar solos. It's the story of a long-running feud between the Hills and the Lawsons sung by one of the remaining Lawsons. He doesn't know how it got started but he knows what it has cost. He hates his father for it.

The song really takes off at the end. The lyrics finish with a slowed down picking pattern then the drums kick in and we hear some electric guitar. Then another guitar comes in on top and the whole thing just ascends into a swirl of guitar, bass, and drums. One of my favorite codas in rock.

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