Most decent bands that house dual songwriters wind up splitting at some point, usually due to jealousy or control issues or hurt feelings or something of the like. It’s a rare feat when a band with writers as equally inspired as the Drive-By Truckers’ Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley not only survive, but thrive, for as long as they now have. I think their success is at least partially attributable to the fact that each seems to know (and be perfectly comfortable with) exactly what his role in the band is. For Hood, it’s being the prolific writer whose songs of Southern men making the best of hard times generally imbue DBT records with an overarching theme. Cooley’s job = write a handful of badass tunes about drinking, drugs, women, rock & roll mythologies, and, in the case of “Birthday Boy”, a stripper. Though to reduce this song to a simplicity like that would be unfair - this is A DBT song after all, and one-dimensional characters do not exist here. You can listen to and download “Birthday Boy”, the second track to surface from the upcoming The Big To-Do (ATO Records, 3/16), for the latest promotional strategy currently being used by established bands - providing an email address. It’s worth it.
P.S. - Apparently the song “This Fucking Job”, also from the album and shared a few weeks ago, is now being called “Working This Job”. Bummer. Song still rocks though.