Someone once told me they were a massive Queen fan, so I asked what was their favourite album. Their reply? Greatest Hits II. As The Dirty Truckers’ Best Of hit my desk that is covered in fag ash and despair, I felt as though I am now that guy. Y’see, here’s a band that have totally eluded my radar and I’m having to dip my toes in the water via a compilation retrospective. It’s never too late though, eh?
Weighing in with a whopping 22 tracks and taking in a career that has almost spanned 20 years, The Dirty Truckers are a band that should be massive. In a world where watered down rock ‘n’ roll is lauded, this Boston ensemble kicks Americana infused sand in the face of such blandness. This is the real fucking deal.
Without singling out tracks in an effort to make me look like I’m already a Dirty Truckers fanboy and a historian of their work since 1999, things are best served on an overall face value. What you get here is a carefree blast of good time rock ‘n’ roll coupled with ballads that haven’t got the faintest odour of cheese about them. Think of the passionate storytelling of Steve Earle, the reckless abandon of The Replacements, the cheeky wink of the Faces, the power pop sensibilities of the Raspberries, the shit-kicking prowess of The Georgia Satellites, and the heartfelt pleas of Ryan Adams or Jesse Malin. Now, that’s one hell of a melting pot… and that’s The Dirty Truckers!
Classic Rock should be doing a four page spread on these guys. Actually, let’s just keep them all to ourselves in a sweat soaked barroom. They don’t deserve ‘em! It’s the sound of heading to your local dive bar with your gal at your side. You’re off to neck Bud after Bud and shoot some pool over the smoky baize. Other cliches are available, but when rock ‘n’ roll is this good, it’s flaming awesome. Ginge Knievil
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