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The fiercely intelligent music of Athens, Ga.-based Drive-By Truckers owes less to southern rock acts like Lynyrd Skynyrd and .38 Special and more to the South’s rich storytelling tradition. The band channels Southern Gothic authors like William Faulkner and Cormac McCarthy with narrative-heavy tunes, often murder ballads or tales of flawed men struggling to maintain dignity in impossible situations. Like their literary forbears, Drive-By Truckers’ wry wit (usually) keeps things from getting too maudlin or moralistic—and their whiskey-fueled barnburners don’t hurt, either.

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS PERFORM WITH WITH J. RODDY WALSTON AND THE BUSINESS AT 8 P.M. FRIDAY AND SATURDAY AT THE 9:30 CLUB, 815 V ST. NW. SOLD OUT. (202) 265-0930.