So it goes. Drive-By Truckers loses another bassist with the departure of Shonna Tucker. Both the announcement posted by Tucker yesterday and another posted on DBT’s website were vague. The Drive-By Trucker’s official response reads, “We all love and respect her and wish her all of the best in everything she sets out for…David Barbe will be playing bass in our upcoming shows. He has been part of the DBT family since 2000.”
Only time will tell how the new lineup will affect the band. After a nearly decade long career with DBT, Shonna has spend thousands of hours on stage with the band. She did incredible work for the Truckers rhythm section and added a unique energy to the band.
Drive-By Truckers will be a new band after this. I look forward to their new projects with both anticipation and trepidation. I’m not saying that I think their direction will alter that much, the band has experienced numerous roster changes, but this is a pretty big one. Especially considering that Shonna was married to former DBT guitarist Jason Isbel. The Trucker’s roadmap is unwritten. They’ve changed shape and size numerous times. They’ve cut lies about dives and hillbilly lives. They’ve told tales of times turning. They’ve been bards for the South. Earlier on in their career some critics claimed that they were some kind of Lynyrd Skynyrd knockoff, but they have shattered that mold, etching out their own special niche in the cannon of Alt-Country gods.
While all my speculation is fun, but it doesn’t really mean anything. If the Truckers can’t find a new groove without Shonna, then they had a good run. If they can, they have a potential to be a legendary band. I sincerely hope for the latter. Other DBT alumni have enjoyed solo success and good rest. In Shonna’s case, I’d love to see the former.
You can only stay on one train for so long. This one has come to the end of the line. While I hate to see the end of my favorite roster of my favorite band, I welcome it. Moments are precious because they are fleeting. Their music has changed before, but now that part of the Trucker’s catalog is now complete— for better or for worse. Will a paradigm shift occur? Doubtful. Will the rest of DBT get off at this stop? Probably.
I’ll be keeping an eye out on David Barbe for sure. Reports are unconfirmed whether or not his role as bassist will be a permanent gig. The band has made no comment. The band really hasn’t made much of a comment about anything. I guess in a lot of ways, that’s to be expected, but it doesn’t make things any less frustrating for concerned fans of the group.
My advice for the Truckers? Look to Lewis Carrol, If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.