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Drive-By Truckers Share ‘Southern Rock Opera’ 20th Anniversary Collection

The band will play ‘Southern Rock Opera’ in full on tour later this year.

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Cover: Courtesy of UMG Recordings

Drive-By Truckers have announced a 3CD version of Southern Rock Opera for the record’s 20th anniversary. The double album became an Americana classic upon initial release in 2001. The anniversary version has a new mix by album producer Dave Barbe and includes five bonus tracks (the unreleased “Mystery Song” and four live performances from the era). A 3LP SDE has been licensed by New West Records.

Southern Rock Opera was originally self-released on Soul Dump Records in 2001 and was financed by loans from friends and family. The album, the band’s third, received a worldwide re-release in 2002 via the Lost Highway Records imprint. The record touches on themes of politics and race while following the rise of a fictitious rock band called Betamax Guillotine whose career is reminiscent of Lynyrd Skynyrd.

“It’s about growing up in the South and people’s misconceptions of that,” Patterson Hood told The Birmingham News in 2001. “You know, thinking everyone here is like George Wallace, and the TV footage of police dogs and the schoolhouse steps. But there was the whole Muscle Shoals music scene going on at the same time, with white musicians backing up people like Aretha Franklin and Wilson Pickett.”

Drive-By Truckers will play Southern Rock Opera in full on tour later this year. The Southern Rock Opera Revisited 2024 Tour begins in June and July and resumes in the autumn.

“We’ll be playing songs from the original release, plus a small handful of songs that pertain to its themes and points of view, plus a short encore set that will be different each night,” Hood said of the shows. “It’ll be a different and very special show, and very likely the last time we’ll ever do it so DON’T MISS IT!”

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