Mike Cooley – The Fool on Every Corner


The first solo album from singer-songwriter-guitar slinger Mike Cooley (of the Drive-By Truckers) was recorded live over a couple nights in Atlanta and Athens, Georgia. While Cooley generally commands more or less equal stage time with the Truckers, his contribution to albums are often overshadowed by the more prolific Patterson Hood penned numbers. An intimate affair complete with boozy hollering and raucous sing-a-longs, The Fool on Every Corner mostly revisits DBT classics, though stripped entirely of the heavy arrangements that accompany these tunes on their original releases or the live rock shows where most listeners first encountered them. “Guitar Man Upstairs” and “Marry Me” get a nice acoustic treatment, while slower jams like “Loaded Gun in the Closet” and “Cottonseed” start the set off nicely. One highlight for me comes during “3 Dimes Down,” a tune complete with Tom T Hall references and a line lifted from Bob Seger’s “Rock N Roll Never Forgets,” one of rock’s best pump-you-up-for-a-night-of-boozin-anthems. Towards the end of “3 Dimes Down,” Cooley goes off on the Seger line and gets right into “Rock N Roll Never Forgets,” until he forgets the words and trails off. A cover of Charlie Rich’s “Behind Closed Doors” and a brand new tune, “Drinking Coke & Eating Ice” give the rabid DBT fan some extra bang for their buck. My only complaint, as a rabid DBT ran, is that “Uncle Frank” or “One of These Days” weren’t included. A great introduction to an underrated American songwriter, The Fool on Every Corner is a dang good record. It’s too bad it came out so late in 2012, as I’m sure it missed a lot of Top Ten lists (mine included). (ATO, drivebytruckers.com) Sheldon Birnie

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