Jerry Joseph Tick

REVIEW: Jerry Joseph and DBT “Tick”


Jerry Joseph has just released a new album, Tick, with the Drive-By Truckers as his band, newly available via Dial Back Sound.  Tick was produced by Matt Patton; engineered by Bronson Tew, Stephen Drizos and David Barbe; mixed and mastered by Bronson Tew.

This album is a companion piece to Jerry’s 2020 release A Beautiful Madness, and it again features “The Stiff Boys” (The Drive-By Truckers).  Side 1 of the album is some songs that didn’t make the cut for release on A Beautiful Madness, and Side 2 is live versions of songs from the 2020 album, which were played with the Drive-By Truckers on tour in 2021.

Anybody familiar with Jerry’s work knows he is an eloquent badass, and this album is true to form.  But there is also some great acoustic playing that sounds like any of the folk greats, and with elements of Bob Dylan — in the opening title track — although Jerry has more of an intense growly vocal.  There are several songs (side 1) that are just Jerry and Patterson playing solo acoustic, getting to the soul of the songs on brand new songs.

“The Mountain” is a song about the need to receive and feel and be real and live out loud, but it’s got a gentle swirling musical context. Absolutely killer harmonies by Schaefer Llana cause this one to achieve the peaks.  “Quiet” again is almost uncharacteristically subdued as he proclaims gently “I swear that I won’t speak until your song is done.”

The heart of the live songs on the album, “Sugar Smacks” opens with Jerry saying into the mic “check it out, it’s the f-ing Drive-By Truckers, man.” And this song has a heartbeat carried by the drums and dark guitar distortion buildup, and you’ll be right there in the front row of the concert. “Days of Heaven” records the excited crowd and then all the electric guitar madness, piano plunks, and Jerry Joseph introducing the Stiff Boys, and then comes the chilling song about drug cartels coming for a family. Jerry’s vocals are smooth on this clear recording. “Dead Confederate” closes the album in a restrained, potent delivery of this dark song of truth.

Some picked A Beautiful Madness for their lists of the best albums of 2020, and listening to these companion recordings underscores why.  It’s omnipotent songwriting. But Tick is a great album in its own right — you get the best of both worlds — thoughtful acoustic songs and powerful, outward energetic stage recordings with the Drive-By Truckers.

Enjoy our previous coverage here: Song Premiere: Jerry Joseph “Sometimes A Great Notion

and here: REVIEW: Jerry Joseph’s “The Beautiful Madness” Offers Something New With Each Listen

Catch our interview with Patterson Hood here: Interview: Key to the Highway: Patterson Hood and our interview with Jerry Joseph here: Interview: Key to the Highway: Jerry Joseph and our interview with Matt Patton here: Interview: Matt Patton on Dial Back Sound, Jimbo Mathus, Drive-By Truckers

And find more information on the album and tour dates here:

and here:

Jerry Joseph – vocals, guitar
Patterson Hood – vocals, guitar
Mike Cooley – guitar, banjo
Brad Morgan – drums
Matt Patton – bass, vocals
Schaefer Llana – vocals
Steven Drizos – drums (demos)


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