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Heat Lightning Rumb

4.8 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 7, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

2012 solo release from the Drive-By Truckers mainman. The songs which comprise Heat Lightning Rumbles In The Distance were originally conceived as part of a novel written on the road while touring with Hood's band Drive-By Truckers. While the book eventually fell by the wayside, the songs kept coming. Featuring 12 new compositions from one of America's most talented songwriters and storytellers, the album is co-produced by Hood and longtime collaborator David Barbe. The album features appearances from guest vocalist Kelly Hogan, members or Drive-By Truckers, Centro-matic, and Patterson's father, the legendary Muscle Shoals bass player David Hood.

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 7, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: ATO Records
  • ASIN: B008OTTVTK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,763 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Nobody important VINE VOICE on September 20, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Along with Mike Cooley, Patterson Hood has crafted an iconic sound with the Drive-By Truckers, so what does he do with a solo album? Killers and Stars was basically a demo, with some lo-fi acoustic performances that hold up on the strength of the material and the conviction of his performance. Murdering Oscar sounded at times like a collection of DBT songs that didn't quite fit on other albums. On Heat Lightening, though, Patterson has done something truly different, and rewarding. The album has its roots in an autobiographical novel that Patterson started to write, but eventually it became an album, filled with the types of characters who would seem at home on a DBT album. Patterson's lyrical style is distinctive. What is different here is the sound. Like his lyrical style, Patterson's melodic signature is all over the place here, but the crunching electric guitars of the Drive-By Truckers are not. In their place, we have piano, and more acoustic instruments than the Truckers ever use. The arrangements aren't exactly mellow-- they are just restrained. There is a tension throughout the music that one does not generally expect from mid-tempo acoustic arrangements. Patterson seems to be developing another new style. Let's hope he continues to pursue it. Now, if only we can convince Cooley to start putting out some solo albums too...
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Wow. I didn't see it coming. Although the Truckers remain my favorite contemporary band (touring and releasing records on a regular basis), the wheels did seem to start coming off after Isbell left the band, with a precipitous drop in the overall quality of the records. Now this. I don't know if this was written as a concept record; however, it is a "middle age crazy" record with few peers. The only record I can even think of of this chararcter and quality is Merle Haggard's "Drinking 190 Proof," a fine and forgotten record.
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First, I would like to admit I love Drive By Truckers, however I also admit that for me Mr. Hood's other solo albums I could take 'em or leave 'em and I didn't feel they were anything as good as what he did with the Truckers. That being said I was prepared for another solo effort that was somewhat middle of the road. WOW I was wrong!! This latest effort by the veteran song writer blew me away with how fine of a CD it is. Mr. Hood has absolutely hit a high point in his craft. I love the CD. The quality of the recording the arangement of the songs the quality of the lyrical content and the absolute excellent musicianship of the players and the inflection and delivery of the lyrics all add up to one excellent peice of Patterson Hood's fine carreer and shows that he can hold his own with any songwriter of his genre.
The two stand out songs ( although all the songs are quite strong) are "Heat Lightning" and "Come back little star". Lyrically Mr. Hood may have put out his strongest and meaningful writing. The delivery of the great lyrics serves to make the songs evocative and memorable. I admit a tear welled in my eye as I sat and listened to "heat lightning". "Come back little star"s icing on the cake was the quite excellent harmony /backing vocals of ms. Hogan along with Mr. Hood's unique and recognizeable voice( that has never sounded better). Give the delivery and inflection the perfect touch to make a great song even stronger.
Great CD 5 stars
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By Smitty on September 12, 2012
Format: Audio CD
Patterson Hood at his best, both lyrically and at his best sense of pace and timing. A revealing look into a talented artist who has grown into his skin after gaining some perspective on his early life. Immensely enjoyable....
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I think Hood is a truly great American songwriter, up there with Springsteen and Petty, Guthrie and Webb, and Kinky Friedman. Some great playing here, also, and if it sounds like an excellent DBT demo, well, most of them appear, and he *is* one of the main singers.
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This is a stunning solo album by Patterson Hood, a name that will be familiar to those who have recordings by his band, Drive-By Truckers. Patterson Hood, I dare to say, is one of the best songwriters in the business nowadays. Not that he is the master of writing catchy pop tunes destined for the Top 40 or some iTunes list. No, no, no. That's now what his music is all about --- but if you are reading this you probably knew that already. Instead, Hood writes some of the deepest, most gut-wrenching, heart-stopping, memorable, beautiful, and joyous music you will even hear. He's a combination of Neil Young and Townes Van Zandt, and some other powerful, mystical, rootsy something. He wears his heart on his sleeve, and on this deeply personal album (full of songs about or inspired by the death of his grandfather in Alabama) he especially bares his soul. You can hear it in his plaintive voice, and in the powerful lyrical content. That said, I'm not sure this would be an album the will appeal to anyone who is not a fan of his band or his other solo albums. But maybe this will intrigue a new listener enough to check out those gems too. But if you ARE a DBT fan or have enjoyed Hood's solo albums, well, you need this too. The emotional power of this album is just off the charts. Maybe it won't rock your world, but that's not really what it's intended to do. But if you sit down and listen, really listen, to these songs and let the lyrics resonate, you can't help but be moved. Brilliant album.
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