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The Big To-Do

Rate It! Avg: 4.0 (454 ratings)
The Big To-Do album cover
Daddy Learned To Fly
The Fourth Night of My Drinking
Birthday Boy
Drag The Lake Charlie
The Wig He Made Her Wear
You Got Another
This Fucking Job
Get Downtown
After The Scene Dies
(It's Gonna Be) / I Told You So
Santa Fe
The Flying Wallendas
Eyes Like Glue
Album Information

Total Tracks: 13   Total Length: 53:46

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Big to do - about not that much


After the rich palate that was Brighter Than Creation's Dark I was looking forward to this. However, the DBTs have elected to rock out this time, with a rough, raw production that buries both the nuances and the lyrics. As the later are often one of the DBTs great strengths it an odd decision. After a few listens few of the songs stand out. Don't get me wrong DBT can rock - Lookout Mountain is one of my favourites of theirs. But there is nothing here to stand comparison with that. Perhaps these songs will improve if we get to hear them live, and rumour has it there is another album on the way soon. But this feels like a missed opportunity.

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Agree with Ryechild


To me, Patterson Hood and Cooley are solid, steady songwriters with the occasional standout, in contrast to the unrelenting genius of Jason Isbell. He was like the basketball player who makes everybody on the team better....I don't hear anything that approaches Decoration Day or Never Gonna Change here....

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Seeing them recently made clear a dark vibe that runs through this album. I had to listen to this a few times before it caught me. It's obviously a rocker where the last one was all acoustic, and I like the Shonna songs.

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They're the best


How can a band continue to get better like DBT? I thought Southern Rock Opera was as good as it could get, and all they've done since then is release a half-dozen more classic albums. The only downside to Big To-Do is the same one that hurt their last effort: 2 songs by Shonna. She's a fine bassist, but that voice is not great and her songs are middling. But that's why God invented the SKIP button; Hood & Cooley's efforts more than make up for those missteps. Check this out. You won't be disappointed.

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drive by truckers


This album is like getting all the juicy gossip in a neighborhood bar of a small town. Everything from the basic dirt on the local rabble rouser to the minister. The lyrics are great poetry and fun to sing along with even without beer. There are some very sweet songs too. A well balanced album that is so much fun!!!!

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DBT not the same


This band has not recovered since Jason Isbell left. An occasional hit from Mike Cooley and that's about it.

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Solid Not Best


DBT deliver consistently good stuff but if you start here and think its pretty good but whats all the fuss, the fuss is a little further back in Southern Rock Opera, Decoration Day, Blessing/Curse. This is solid but not necessarily great or as good as their very best.

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The album is far better than the live show I just saw. For a band with a reputation for smokin' hot shows, I was wildly disappointed, which really puzzles me because I really like this album.

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Best storytelling since Dirty South


Got Kids?- listen to Eyes Like Glue, and try to tell me this is just another southern rock band.. Like several of their releases, this one will make you think, laugh, cry, and get mad as hell inside a four cut span... and wish for more.

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A growing band


This is their best LP - a short, no frills rocker which benefits from choice editing (something their last album sorely needed). This Fucking Job is a rollicking highlight. Soundtrack to BBQs everywhere!

eMusic Features


Interview: Drive-By Truckers

By Andrew Perry, Contributor

It's the mark of a truly great band, when, nine albums in, they're still spiriting up incredible music which somehow redefines them. So it is with Drive-By Truckers, and their latest full-length, Go-Go Boots. Variously resident across Alabama and Georgia in the American South, the band was kickstarted 15 years ago by Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley, a chalk-and-cheese duo, who'd grown out of the Replacements-y punk rock they'd been pursuing thanklessly for the preceding decade.… more »

They Say All Music Guide

In his liner notes to the Drive-By Truckers’ eighth studio album, The Big To-Do, bandleader Patterson Hood uses running away to join the circus as a metaphor for a variety of hopes, dreams, and ambitions, adding “I never really was all that into the circus as a kid, but I sure was into the Rock Show, which was sort of The Circus for kids of my generation.” There’s plenty of truth to that line, but while running off to chase the Big Top usually means escaping the realities of adult responsibility, Hood and his bandmates have become all the more willing to deal with the home truths of just getting by as they’ve become more successful, and The Big To-Do may be their most intense look yet into the messy realities of life in post-millennial America. In The Big To-Do, the Truckers sing about people trying to make sense of a world that’s seemingly turned against them — a young boy whose father has abandoned the family (“Daddy Learned to Fly”), a man who has lost a bad job and is struggling to support his family (“This Fucking Job”), a wife confronting her unfaithful husband (“You Got Another”), an alcoholic who can barely remember the wreckage he’s left behind (“The Fourth Night of My Drinking”), and a father trying to figure out what lessons he can pass along to his children (“Eyes Like Glue”). The Big To-Do is a subtle but genuine step forward from 2008′s Brighter Than Creation’s Dark, but while that album dug deep into the darker undercurrents of its songs, The Big To-Do resembles Bruce Springsteen’s The River in that its stories of folks under punishing circumstances are married to music that tries to find some sort of grace and honor in the struggle without dulling the lyrical impact. And the Drive-By Truckers are one band good enough to make this conceit work — “The Fourth Night of My Drinking” is a ravaged tale, but the melody builds some compassion for its doomed protagonist, and the anthemic “This Fucking Job” brings out the bravery in characters pushed to the wall but determined to get through. And just as Hood’s songs are as painfully honest as any he’s written, the two tales of broken hearts contributed by Shonna Tucker add another, equally powerful perspective to the album, and Mike Cooley contributes three absolute winners, including the album’s bittersweet closing number “Eyes Like Glue.” The Drive-By Truckers have been the best and smartest hard rock band in America for a while now, but with The Big To-Do they also confirm they’re one of the bravest, and they’ve created a triumphant album out of songs in which folks are forced to look failure square in the eye. – Mark Deming

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