In November of 2005 the Drive by Truckers played at the Tremont Music Hall and did one of the better openings I have ever witnessed. They opened with a Mike Cooley song called Cottonseed which is part of a three-song mini opera about Buford Pusser of Walking Tall fame. The mini opera is on the album The Dirty South. The song Cottonseed is the first person story, told while in prison, by a particularly scary member of the gang that Buford went to war with. It has this piece of poetry in it: "Stories of corruption, crime and killing, yes it's true. Greed and fixed elections, guns and drugs and whores and booze."
The album version of the song Cottonseed is acoustic, it's sparse and it's spooky. It's not the sort of song you would think you might open up a two hour rock show with. But if you plug the song in, put some Jason Isbell slide guitar behind it, have the drummer use his heavy hands and throw in some Patterson Hood backing vocals then you have a seven minute slow burn that brings the crowd to a boil. It was masterful. It's the kind of moment that only bands like the Drive by Truckers can pull off because they have an audience that appreciates a reinvention of a song like this. You can tell as this goes on that the audience knows they are hearing something familiar again for the first time and they respond.
About 2/3 of the way through the volume jumps up. The recorder must have adjusted his levels.
Drive-By Truckers - Live at Tremont 1105 Cottonseed by zzazazz