There are live albums and then there’s the latest jaw-dropping undertaking by Southern-tinged rockers Drive-By Truckers. “It’s Great to Be Alive!” is a five-LP live set featuring songs that span the band’s remarkable 20-year career. With 35 tracks clocking in at more than three hours, it’s as comprehensive a live package as you’ll likely find this side of The Grateful Dead.
“We originally began thinking of ‘The Live Album’ (as we called it for several years) as first and foremost a collection of songs spanning our entire career as DBT,” band co-founder Patterson Hood explains. “Part of the joy of this incarnation of the band has been digging back and seeing what this band can do with songs from various periods of our history. I’m proud of every lineup we’ve had and of the records that we’ve made, but this incarnation has brought a primal energy and personal camaraderie to the process that takes it all to new levels.”
The album was recorded over three nights at San Francisco’s historic Fillmore Auditorium and finds the Truckers — anchored by founding members Hood and Mike Cooley — in fine form. Hood and Cooley share the vocal duties throughout and serve up sizzling renditions of “Lookout Mountain,” “Where the Devil Don’t Stay,” “The Righteous Path,” “Tornadoes,” “Putting People on the Moon,” “Gravity’s Gone,” “Ronnie and Neil,” “Three Dimes Down,” “Marry Me,” Angels and Fuselage” and “Zip City.” I can’t recommend this one highly enough. It’s an essential purchase for DBT fans and anyone who enjoys Southern rock. (Jeffrey Sisk)