The Drive-By Truckers have long been one of my favorite bands, partly because they’ve been willing to write about difficult subjects like race and class consistently, in an honest and thoughtful way. That’s part of what hooked me when I first heard Southern Rock Opera years ago. Their latest album, American Band, jumps headlong into current politics. They talk about police shootings, border patrol agents, school shootings, the Confederate flag coming down at the South Carolina State House, Bible thumpers, and sleazy corporate types, and that’s just for starters. You can read my review in the September 30 New Release Roundup. I’ve spoken with Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley, the Truckers’ two leaders and songwriters, a few times over the past decade or so, and culled this minicast from two interviews, taking a look at their philosophies of songwriting and playing live as they hit the road to support American Band.