Far more than on any of the Drive-By Truckers’ previous albums, Go-Go Boots rises like smoke from the old Muscle Shoals country-and-soul sound. Having recorded with Bettye LaVette and Booker T. Jones, and having spent a lifetime listening to classic soul albums by Bobby Womack, Tony Joe White, and especially Eddie Hinton, it was inevitable that the Truckers eventually produce this album.
We knew they were pin-your-ears-back rock and roll. But here in Go-Go Boots, the Truckers are country, and here, too, the Truckers are soul and rhythm and blues. It looks funny, on paper - the words country/soul mashed up like that - but maybe in the end it comes down to this one shared ethos: the harder life gets, the more clamantly it calls for art, for music, for beauty - for the slow celebration of loss or pain that is mournfully, beautifully defiant.
It seems a paradox that while the Drive-By Truckers’ sound is so unique; it is still part of a greater and larger family. Some of the other greats - particularly in the South - were spawned from their culture, while others came from the deeper rootstock of the southern landscape itself.