METADATA: Drive-By Truckers - “This F***ing Job”
Anyone who knows me knows it was only a matter of time until I included a DBT song on here. (I’m sure there will be more in the future, too.) This particular tune has Patterson Hood & co. lamenting the love-hate relationship that is being a working musician – not gigging on the side, but making a living out of it. The song came at a turning point in the band’s storied career. After the 2007 departure of key songwriter and guitarist Jason Isbell (who had just divorced bassist Shonna Tucker), the band released the dark and misty Brighter Than Creation’s Dark in 2008. The album would be their last on New West Records.
“This F***king Job” was part of the gargantuan first wave of output for new label ATO, and it sounds like a shaken soda bottle. Over the band’s distinct guitar crunch and southern swing, Hood sounds tired and pissed off during the verses. He likens being a musician to all kinds of physical abuses. He shares the financial struggle of supporting a family paycheck-to-paycheck, when every show counts. He sings about feeling trapped. But then the chorus hits: “Nobody told me it’d be easy / Or for that matter it’d be so hard / But it’s the living and the learning that makes the difference / It makes it all worthwhile.” WHEW, Pat, you had us worried! In the end, he wonders what would have happened if he got a desk job and gave up on this crazy rock and roll dream. It’s complicated, but it’s love. If they weren’t making kick ass rock and roll, what would they be doing?
**Bonus: he makes reference to his dad, David Hood, a renowned Alabama bassist who was part of the absurdly influential Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section (aka the Swampers), also referenced on DBT’s 2001 “Ronnie And Neil.” David played on records by Willie Nelson, Etta James, Cat Stevens, Paul Simon, and Cher, JUST TO NAME A FEW.