Something Else! sneak peek: Patterson Hood, "Come Back Little Star" (2012)

photo: Andy Tennile

Drive-By Truckers frontman Patterson Hood will issue his third solo album on September 11. It’s called Heat Lightning Rumbles In The Distance and it will include appearances from all his DBT cohorts, a couple of guys from alt-country group Centro-matic and Patterson’s dad David Hood, a Muscle Shoals bass legend. An album in first person narrative about Hood’s life today in contrasting to a more turbulant period in his life, he calls Heat “in some ways the most personal album I’ve ever made.”

Today, though, an advance track “Come Back Little Star” is made available for listen via streaming. Check it out here!

“Come Back Little Star” was co-written with alt-country vocalist Kelly Hogan (The Job Grind, The Rock*A*Teens, Neko Case), who originally intended this song to be about the late singer-songwriter Vic Chestnutt, a friend of both her and Patterson. The way the lyrics sound, the lost friend drank him/herself to death but it could apply to anyone’s who feeling lonely after a close companion they shared dreams with left them, and how the dreams “were blown to tatters” when that companion “traded in (his) wheels for wings.”

[SOMETHING ELSE! REWIND: Hood’s main band the Drive-By Truckers pay homage to the sweet soulful sounds of Muscle Shoals with their last studio effort Go-Go Boots.]

Hogan, by the way, helps out on the vocals, assuming almost a co-lead role. Both crafted words that suggest wrenching heartache and deliver them in a way that makes it explicit. Starting with gentle piano lines, a pedal steel guitar nudges its way into the room and settles in with softly weeping tones as a small string accompaniment add delicately to the mood. The song reaches a heavy, “release” point with the introduction of an electric guitar during the instrumental break that ends the song.

Heat Lightning Rumbles In The Distance is planned for a September 11 release, on ATO Records. Visit Patterson Hood’s website for more info.

Catch Patterson performing songs from the upcoming record live at one of these upcoming shows below:

July 20 Winston-Salem, NC Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art*
July 21 Camden, NJ XPoNential Music Festival*
July 23 Brooklyn, NY Bell House*
Aug 03 Charleston, SC Pour House**
Aug 16 Lexington, KY Lexington Opera House** w/ Todd Snider
Sep 14 Pinnacle, NC Jomeokee Music & Arts Festival*
Oct 12 Austin, TX ACL FESTIVAL*

*denotes shows with Patterson Hood and the Downtown Rumbers
**denotes Patterson Hood solo shows

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S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is a CPA and mid-level data analyst for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. Contact him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews.com.