Inspired by Fiction: Drive-By Truckers release a bookish new song, “Pauline Hawkins” (playing World Cafe Live at The Queen 3/16)

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Photo courtesy of artist
Photo courtesy of artist

Drive-By Truckers are releasing a new album, English Oceans, on March 4th. It’s the band’s 12th album, and was recorded in a 13 day period last August. The songs on the Southern rockers’ album were written by Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley and continue to showcase their signature roots rock sound: dueling guitars, reliable, steady rhythms, keyboard floruishes and Patterson Hood’s yearning vocals. The Truckers have always had a lean towards Southern influenced classic rock and they uphold that tradition on the new album.

The new song, “Pauline Hawkins,” was inspired by a book that Hood read called The Free by Willy Vlautin. He told Rolling Stone:

“I had loved his first three novels and we had become pen pals in the last couple of years,” he says. “The new book was called The Free and I read it in about three sittings. Wonderful book.” He was especially moved by a character named Pauline Hawkins: “She had lived a tough life and had a brutal job, which caused her to be somewhat closed down in her emotions. I finished the book on Saturday and wrote the song on Sunday.”

Listen to the song below. Drive-By Truckers play World Cafe Live at The Queen in Wilmington, Delaware, with Blitzen Trapper on Sunday, March 16th.