Drive-By Truckers' front man/co-songwriter Patterson Hood will release his solo album 'Heat Lightning Rumbles in The Distance' through Play It Again Sam on 10th September. Recorded at Chase Park Transduction in Athens, GA and produced by David Barbe and Patterson Hood, the album will be available on CD, vinyl and download. 'Heat Lightning Rumbles In The Distance' is the follow up to Hood's 2009 album 'Murdering Oscar (And Other Love Songs)'. A single 'Better Off Without' follows the album on 17th September. Patterson has confirmed a show at London's Union Chapel on 13th November, where he will be joined by Craig Finn of The HoldSteady and Will Johnson from Centro-matic.
"Back in January, worn out from having spent a year on tour and facing a new album's release and another year spent mostly on a bus, away from the comforts of home and family, I decided to try to write a book," reflects Patterson. "I had made a couple of stabs in that direction before (as well as a couple of screenplays), but had so far failed to complete one. The thing is, I love to write on the road. I write most every day out there. It's usually not songs, as completing a song amid all of the noise, distractions and music blasting on the bus is very difficult (I do often start songs there that get finished later), but writing non-musical compositions comes pretty easy for me out here and it sure passes the time. Beside, I had an idea for a story I wanted to write and it started coming very easily."
"The book was basically a half-assed fictionalisation of that very turbulent period of my life," continues Hood. "I was 27, my band broke up, I got divorced and left my hometown to live in Memphis. My car got stolen, our band's truck got stripped and I fell in love. I fell out with my family (who I was very, very close to) and had my heart broken. I seriouslypondered killing myself several times but instead wrote literally over 500 songs in a three-year period. A time when I reinvented myself artistically and experienced a sort of rebirth that led to a lot of the things I have done in the last two decades."
"My book would sort of tell that story, but interspersed with lyrics from that period of my life, as well as new song lyrics either set in that time or from the point of view of various characters from the book. The structure would be chapter / song / chapter / song and so on. If the book was coming fast, the songs were coming even easier. Then the booked stopped coming. Someday I may want to tell that story, but timing is everything and this just isn't the time for it."
"The songs, however continued to pour out, taking a few left turns and then morphing into its own thing. Most of this album comes from that short period of time between February and June of 2011. The songs begin in the period that the book was set in, but don't end there, as they really just were the impetus for writing about the life I am living now and contrasting it with the troubled times of two decades ago."
Recorded in Hood's hometown of Athens, GA, the album features almost all of Drive-By Truckers, Patterson's father David Hood, who was a founding member of The Muscle Shoals Sound Rhythm Section and additional musicians. The full line up is as follows; Patterson Hood (vocals, guitar and mandocello), David Hood (bass), Scott Danbom (piano and violin), Jay Gonzalez (piano, mellotron andaccordion), David Barbe (bass), Brad Morgan (drums and percussion), Mike Cooley (banjo), Jacob Morris (cello and violin), Kelly Hogan (vocals), Will Johnson (guitar and vocals) and John Neff (pedal steel).
'Heat Lightning Rumbles In The Distance' track listing;
1. 12:01 8. Betty Ford
2. Leaving Time 9. Depression Era
3. Disappear 10. Heat Lightning Rumbles
4. Better Off Without In The Distance
5. (untold pretties) 11. Come Back Little Star
6. After The Damage 12. Fifteen Days (Leaving Again)
7. Better Than The Truth
"I called it 'Heat Lightning Rumbles In The Distance' and decided that spring to record it as a solo album. I could clearly hear in my head exactly how I wanted every song to sound and made a list of who I wanted to play on each one. It is in some ways the most personal album I've ever made. There has always been a lot of me in all of the albums we've done, but usually semi-disguised as character sketches and stories, but the first person narrative in this one is pretty firmly rooted in autobiography, albeit in two dramatically differing time periods."