Back to top

Where the Devil Don't Stay

Where the Devil Don't Stay
Where the Devil Don't Stay

In the first full-length book on the Drive-By Truckers, Deusner examines the southern spaces that shaped the band’s ideas of what music can say and do while also discovering how their music shifted the way we view the modern South.

Series: American Music Series

September 2021
Not yet published

Available for pre-order.
This book will be available in August 2021.
Subscribe to be notified of availability.
320 pages | 6 x 9 |

In 1996, Patterson Hood recruited friends and fellow musicians in Athens, Georgia, to form his dream band: a group with no set lineup that specialized in rowdy rock and roll. The Drive-By Truckers, as they named themselves, grew into one of the best and most consequential rock bands of the twenty-first century, a great live act whose songs deliver the truth and nuance rarely bestowed on Southerners, so often reduced to stereotypes.

Where the Devil Don’t Stay tells the band’s unlikely story not chronologically but geographically. Seeing the Truckers’ albums as roadmaps through a landscape that is half-real, half-imagined, their fellow Southerner Stephen Deusner travels to the places the band’s members have lived in and written about. Tracking the band from Muscle Shoals, Alabama, to Richmond, Virginia, to the author’s hometown in McNairy County, Tennessee, Deusner explores the Truckers’ complex relationship to the South and the issues of class, race, history, and religion that run through their music. Drawing on new interviews with past and present band members, including Jason Isbell, Where the Devil Don’t Stay is more than the story of a great American band; it’s a reflection on the power of music and how it can frame and shape a larger culture.

  • Introduction
  • The Shoals
  • Memphis, Tennessee
  • Athens, Georgia
  • Birmingham, Alabama
  • Outside Gillsburg, Mississippi
  • Back to the Shoals
  • Richmond, Virginia
  • McNairy County, Tennessee
  • Out West
  • Acknowledgments
  • Selected Discography
  • Selected Bibliography
  • Index

Stephen Deusner is a freelance music journalist whose work appears in Pitchfork, Uncut, Stereogum, No Depression, and the Bluegrass Situation, among other publications. He has contributed longform liner notes to recent reissues by Pylon and the Glands.