Patterson Hood (Drive-By Truckers) Talks with Buffalo Nichols on the Talkhouse Podcast

The current tourmates talk rock, protest, and Outkast.

On this week’s Talkhouse Podcast, we’ve put together a pair of tourmates—past and present—who are separated by decades but united by a deep respect of American music: Patterson Hood and Carl Nichols.

Patterson Hood has been in rock bands since he was a pre-teen, and he’s been the co-leader of Drive-By Truckers since 1996. The band has explored the sounds and ideas of Southern rock—Hood is from Alabama—over the years, with sounds and lyrics that stretch the boundaries well beyond the world of Lynyrd Skynyrd. As you’ll hear in this conversation, Hood is a nuanced thinker and writer. You’ll also hear that, of course, on his records, both as a solo artist and a Drive-By Trucker. The band actually released two albums last year, The Unraveling back in January, and then its companion, The New OK, in October.

Carl Nichols, aka Buffalo Nichols, toured with Drive-By Truckers in the past, and he’s in the midst of another touring opening for them now. Nichols, as you’ll hear, has an interesting musical history of his own—he’s been more of a genre jumper than his friend Patterson, playing in punk bands early on and then in the Milwaukee folk-ish duo Nickel and Rose. He just released his debut as Buffalo Nichols, and it takes a turn toward what Rolling Stone called “existential blues.” It’s just out on the venerated Fat Possum label.

Nichols and Hood—that sounds like a great name for a duo, come to think of it—talk here about the protests in Portland, where Hood now lives; how Hood’s politics drove off a certain percentage of his audience; and a mutual love of Outkast. Enjoy.

Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast, and thanks to Patterson Hood and Carl Nichols for chatting. This episode was produced by Melissa Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time.

(Photo Credit: left, Jason Thrasher; right, Dustin Cohen; Edited by: Keenan Kush.)

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