Ain't no one escapes the human condition" ("Passing By Again") or even "We cast a shadow in the sun/For a moment, and then it's done" ("Shadows") in a country song. A traditionalist might say that good country music raises issues like these without being explicit about it, but the Mother Truckers have a couple of answers to that. First, the singers they use as their models have sometimes seemed to reach for abstractions when they could. "Life began to twist its way around him," wrote Haggard (for whom the Mother Truckers have also opened). More important, the Mother Truckers give themselves fully to their lyrics. There isn't a bit of artifice in their performances, which are reputed to have a very high energy level in concert.
The Mother Truckers are following Yoakam's trajectory in another way as well: they're touring with a new album that's said to rock harder than its three predecessors. They'll be at the Ark on Monday, May 5.
[Review published May 2008]