Drive-By Truckers make a stpo at Walker Theatre. In support of new record. Sunday
If it seems like the Drive- By Truckers have had a “do- it- yourself ” approach to recording, t heir careers, record labels, touring and just about everything else associated with the band, it’s because they have. There is a reason for it — it goes back 28 years to a band that never got signed and a record that got made, but never released. Until now.
Twenty- eight years after Adam’s House Cat made “Town Burned Down,” it is finally being released and Patterson Boyd says the record has colored the work done by Drive- By Truckers, the band he co-founded with bandmate Mike Cooley after Adam’s House Cat broke up.
“I’m about as excited about this as anything I’ve done in a while,” he says.
“This is something that has eaten at me for 20- something years. It was one of those defining events of our lives. A lot of decisions we made with the Truckers were all kind of built around the heartbreak of that band.”
The recording industry has always had stories of bands, really good bands, who for whatever reason, never got their big break. The internet didn’t exist back then, nor was there a home-studio-on-a- laptop in every home like there seems to be today.
To make matters even tougher, getting signed didn’t guarantee fame and fortune. In cases like Adam’s House Cat, the band just never connected with the right person or people.
“It destroyed our career. Our band never even got the deal because nobody liked the band at the time, but we made a really good record.”
He says “Town Burned Down” is not too different from music the Truckers would later record, and become loved for by critics and fans. The whole experience hardened him and Cooley, and made them even more determined to not let the industry dictate who they were or what they did.
“Part of our stubborn resolve to do it ourselves and not let anybody tell us what to do came from that,” he says.
“When we started our band, we not only didn’t look for a record deal, we adamantly avoided all the mechanisms of the so- called music business because we felt like the music business didn’t have a place for us, so we didn’t have a place for it.”
They found ways to record their music without relying on others.
“I hung Sheetrock and helped in the construction of a studio in exchange for studio time. That’s how we made ‘Gangstabilly.’ We recorded ‘Pizza Deliverance’ in my living room.”
They managed to sell enough of those records to draw interest from labels and “we were able to negotiate it on our own terms,” Boyd says.
“And, even after getting the deal, we were notoriously hard to work with.”
The Drive-By Truckers are Matt Patton, Brad Morgan, Patterson Hood, Mike Cooley and Jay Gonzalez. They will perform Sunday night in Walker Theatre.