The Righteous Path – Drive-By Truckers

Economic difficulty is almost as common a subject for Rock music as love, heartbreak and rock music itself. There’s been many a good Skint anthem since the days of the broke blues man.

This slice of life pictorial paints a familiar picture. Set in the Southern US but relatable just about anywhere there’s credit cards and overdrafts.

The scene is set early on. Something everyone in the 99% can recognise.

‘I got a brand new car that drinks a bunch of gas, I got a house in a neighborhood that’s fading fast, I got a dog and a cat that don’t fight too much, I got a few hundred channels to keep me in touch’

The band positively rage behind the vocal as the song progresses. There are no major skeletons in the closets here but there are A couple big secrets I’d kill to keep hid’.

Righteous Path contains no overtly political messages but there are ‘A couple of opinions that I hold dear’ coupled with ‘A whole lot of debt and a whole lot of fear’

Wanton desire for more or different isn’t on the agenda just ‘an itch that needs scratching but it feels alright, I got the need to blow it out on Saturday night’. So far so relatable right?

As with all Everyman stories, there’s someone the protagonist knows who is in a worse state. ‘Got a friend of mine I’ve know all my life, can’t get it right no matter how he tries, got kids he don’t see and several ex-wives, a list of bad decisions ’bout eight miles wide’.

What follows would be close to a ferocious tirade were it not for the coup de grace of the songs title. ‘Trouble with the law and the IRS, and where he’ll get the money is anybody’s guess, He’s a long way off but if you was to ask, he’d say I’m tryin’ to stay on the righteous path’

A prickly rock and roll number about trying to do right and stay in the light can be just the thing you need, when you need to put the world to rights.


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