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  • Glenn Raucher
    June 29, 2023
    Upon my first few listens to the "Director's Cut" The Dirty South, I feel it retains all the magic of the original but is so much more of a physical experience: it sounds like never before to me like a band playing together in a room and the perfect production touches do nothing but support the songs and performances. And with the new version things jumped out at me like never before: among the many, the beautifully shimmering guitar under the last chorus of "Carl Perkins' Cadillac"; the near-hallucinatory sounds in the end of "Tornadoes"; Brad's drums (especially ONE snare hit like a shotgun) in "Danko/Manuel". "Where the Devil Don't Stay" is now massively powerful. The Buford Pusser songs pack an astonishing punch in a way that was slightly muted before. It's so much more intense overall to me, without losing its mystery. And while I liked the re-cut vocal for "Putting People on the Moon" (in the falsetto parts, the second change is more affecting than the first, for me), the new version of "The Sands of Iwo Jima" makes it a song reborn, one that made me well up in the damn gym. It's a vocal performance that honors the intent of the song in a way that the original distracted from. (Again, IMHO; YMMV). The added songs flow beautifully; they fit in like they were meant to be there, which, we now know, they were. One of the things that came across even more strongly on recent listens (other than nothing fading from the first) is how well the songs balance a genuine sense of menace with an acute awareness of how even the most bad-ass man can be made vulnerable and get victimized. or suffer retribution for his actions. The brilliant line from "The Great Car Dealer War": "I don't ask questions/I don't assume/I just take a long hard look when I walk into a room", with the songwriter SHOWING not telling, and communicating that ineffable feeling of dread at taking a wrong turn and the horrible paths it can lead you on; that sense is all over this record. Relatedly, so many of these songs are about choices and paths taken and not taken; opportunities walked away from and perilous schemes hatched and attempted. It works like the best film noir, making the listener aware of the presence of danger at all times. Wonderful. This version underlines so much why this record is, for many, a cornerstone of DBT's entire catalog, and I imagine many others will have the dual feeling, as I did upon first (but certainly not last) listen of hearing it totally anew.
  • David R. Greenland
    June 29, 2023
    While many reissued CDs are less than essential, that does not apply at all to this remastered, reimagined gem of an album. I'm still enjoying the Drive By Truckers' latest release of new material, but am taking time off from that to dig deeper into the classic "Dirty South." Even if you have the original, do not fail to order the updated version!
  • Matt Burt
    June 29, 2023
    I was knocked out by how good it sounded. Restoring it to its original concept of a double LP is pretty great. It gave the album a story arc.
  • Patrick Shaw
    June 28, 2023
    Fantastic sound, some great new takes on classics, and well done supporting material. I couldn't be more pleased and can't count how many times I've listened to this already. Thank you for issuing such a great set.