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  • Eleven years after releasing their first album and eight years after redefining themselves with SOUTHERN ROCK OPERA, the rare concept album whose execution was just as impressive as its ambitions, the Drive-By Truckers have gained a richly deserved reputation as one of the hardest-working and most rewarding rock bands at work today. Having cranked out five great albums in seven years, they presumably felt bad about not having a new studio effort for 2009, so they've offered fans not one but two time-honored stopgaps--a live album (actually an installment in New West's LIVE FROM AUSTIN, TX series of live discs drawn from the archives of AUSTIN CITY LIMITS), and a collection of outtakes and rare tracks. THE FINE PRINT: A COLLECTION OF OUTTAKES AND RARITIES brings together a dozen songs that, for a variety of reasons, didn't appear on one of the DBTs' albums, including four covers, alternate versions of two tracks, and a few numbers that didn't fit the pattern of the sets for which they were intended. While the collection doesn't match the consistent quality of the Drive-By Truckers' usual work, nearly all the tracks are too genuinely good to have been left to gather dust, and even the DBTs' scraps can make for a pretty satisfying meal.
Professional Reviews
Spin (p.78) - "Patterson Hood's wicked wit generates the biggest charge, from the creepy-sleazy 'Mrs. Claus' Kimono' to 'George Jones Talkin' Cell Phone Blues,' a rueful drunk-driving saga."

Q (Magazine) (p.113) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "Drive-By Truckers have been pushing alt-country's envelope for more than a decade....There's always been a serious depth to them."

Pitchfork (Website) - "'When the Well Runs Dry' is a tense assessment of romantic and creative desiccation, and you can almost hear the mosquitoes buzzing around the languid 'TVA'..."

Record Collector (magazine) (p.84) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he DBT's opted to revisit archive recordings, polishing up rough cuts and applying finishing touches to neglected songs."
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