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Monday, January 10, 2005

2. Drive-By Truckers: The Dirty South

Duane Allman is in heaven scratching his scruffy chin -- how can a Southern rock band trafficking in raucous highway stomps not jam? Isn't that the whole point? To become the next outlaw guitar-hero? To take your high-as-a-kite fans on an epic 16 minute excursion to long-haired transendence? Why do you think the power chord was invented, for God's sake? But to a new generation of bands — My Morning Jacket, Kings of Leon and Drive-By Truckers — it's not about mind-expanding noodling, it's about borrowing the mystical passion and energy that comes from jam rock heroes like Neil, Greg and Jerry to express a mythic South where the magnolias are that much more intoxicating and the moonlight that much more haunting. Meet the new jam band. Southern-bred, whiskey-drenched and epic rock riffing. The best 16 minutes -- scratch that -- five minutes of your life.