Drive-By Truckers Release Charged New Single, ‘What It Means’

The Drive-By Truckers are gearing up to release American Band Sept. 30. As we inch closer to the 2016 presidential election, it’s looking like the album will be the group’s most politically charged effort yet.

First we heard “Surrender Under Protest,” a rousing, Mike Cooley-penned anthem that commemorated the victims of the South Carolina church massacre. Now comes the album’s second single, an equally weighty Patterson Hood number called “What It Means.”

The song, which is principally about the Trayvon Martin case, also references other recent killings of black men and women around the country.

A longtime local resident who recently moved to Oregon, Hood hammers home the song’s central theme with a lyric specifically about Athens: “It could be right here on Ruth Street,” he sings. “In fact, it’s happened here.” The line is presumably a reference to the 1995 police killing of Edward Wright

Stream the song below:

Hood will hit his old stomping grounds for a solo show at the 40 Watt Club on Thursday, Aug. 11.


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