The Drive-By Truckers have been creating the kind of southern rock/alternative music that most bands would kill to create since the mid-90s. The crafting of their songs from Muscle Shoals to the dive bars of Atlanta carries a tone and authenticity that only comes from miles and millions of performances on the road. Fans have no doubt of what they will hear when they pack themselves into every venue is a pure truth as Patterson Hood sees it.

Patterson Hood and bandmates Mike Cooley, Jay Gonzalez, Brad Morgan, and Matt Patton on bass poured out enough truth to inspire the nation on their acclaimed album, “American Band” last year, and still feel enough righteous indignation for the current presidential administration to fill verses of another polemical and opus, “The Perilous Night.” It is no coincidence that the release of the official lyric video is timed for Election Day.

The Drive-By Truckers are definitely not finished with their detailing of the grievances to Donald Trump.

Present going past

Patterson Hood minces no words in the perilous night, calling up the misdirection of “changing courses to some Stalin past.” Even casual observers realize the Trump fascination with absolute power, which he has recently lamented as missing from the executive branch and its dealings with judicial authority. His praise of dictators as “strong” leaders and “smart cookies “ leaves little to the imagination. The musician and songwriter fully intends to be taken quite personally in this musical stance, which calls out the “dumb, white, and angry” in Charlottesville. Drive-By Truckers go against the grain of some who see them as the epitome of a Trump demographic until they hear them onstage.

“The Perilous Night” may be the articulate overflow of outrage that never got the chance to be exorcised last fall. Hood concedes that “there hadn’t even been the first primary yet,” while songs for “American Band” were in progress. “I honestly thought it was going to get better,” insists Hood. He further elaborates that he lacks the “cynicism to predict the kind of bullsh^^ we’ve seen this year.”

Rather than any parodied depiction, the words of “The Perilous Night” are typewritten against the scenes of riots and assemblies of white supremacists, and “global warming” sparked by reason coming against intolerance.

Peace and friends

Listeners may feel little hope in Patterson's warning that “We’re off the deep end with a lifeguard who can't swim,” but there's always healing and hope in music. The composer hints that less strife-filled songs are part of the next collection from Drive-By Truckers. He describes the new material as “less blatantly political” yet still personal.

The official release of “The Perilous Night” is set for December 15, and will include a live version of the social commentary captured in verse, “What It Means.”

Drive-By Truckers are speaking their minds and on the lookout for brighter days, however dark the present times persist in being. Jason Isbell, a former founding member of the band alongside Patterson Hood, has found welcome sobriety, a warm family life, and respect as one of America's best songwriters after allowing binges of alcohol and drugs to become the reason for booting him out. Isbell was recently named as Artist in Residence at the Country Music Hall Of Fame.

Clear-eyed determination and commitment to the truth can lead to very unexpected results, even if getting to the outcome takes a long while.