Drive-By Truckers’ latest, the 14-song Go-Go Boots, would have made an exceptional 6-song Patterson Hood EP. His non-romanticized slices of American redneck life are unparalled, and while it’s swell of him to share mic time and songwriting duties, there’s little overly unique about Mike Cooley or Shonna Tucker.

Go-Go Boots, more gritty than last year’s forgettable Big To Do southern rocker, is the way forward for Hood. His songs are as good as any singer-songwriter’s, and while the Truckers’ distinctive musical depth would be hard to replace, the DBTs in the post-Isbell (Jason) era need Hood more than he needs them.