Music has long been an important avenue for political discussion. This episode features Mike Cooley and Patterson Hood of the Drive-By Truckers, a Southern rock band whose music has tackled a number of contentious political issues from class to race and even partisan politics.
Cooley and Hood co-founded the Drive-By Truckers in 1996, and the band has produced nearly a dozen albums since. For decades, their hard-driving sound has blended the classic sounds of the South with literary skill and sonic power. Their latest album, “American Band,” is perhaps their most explicitly political yet, capturing the many tensions America faces in the age of Trump.
Cooley and Hood chat with Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang about rock-and-roll, progressive politics and the dirty South in this episode.
The Drive-By Truckers are an alternative country/Southern rock band based in Athens, Georgia. Cooley and Hood are originally from The Shoals region of northern Alabama. The band currently consists of Cooley (lead vocals, guitar, banjo), Hood (lead vocals, guitar), Brad Morgan (drums), Jay Gonzalez (keys, guitar, accordion, backing vocals), and Matt Patton (bass guitar, backing vocals).
Cooley and Hood visited Princeton University on March 7 for a conversation with Jonathan Rieder, a sociologist at Columbia University.
ABOUT THE HOSTS
Zelizer is the Malcolm Stevenson Forbes, Class of 1941 Professor of History and Public Affairs at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He has been one of the pioneers in the revival of American political history. He is the author of several books including, most recently, "The Fierce Urgency of Now: Lyndon Johnson, Congress, and the Battle for the Great Society." Zelizer is a frequent commentator in the international and national media on political history and contemporary politics. He has published more than 600 hundred op-eds, including his weekly column on CNN.com.
Wang is professor of neuroscience and molecular biology at Princeton University. He is known for his books "Welcome to Your Brain" and "Welcome to Your Child's Brain" and for his founding role at the Princeton Election Consortium, a blog providing U.S. election analyses. In 2004, Wang was one of the first to aggregate U.S. presidential polls using probabilistic methods. He has also developed new statistical standards for partisan gerrymandering. A neuroscientist, Wang's academic research focuses on the neuroscience of learning, the cerebellum.