Mike Cooley is one of the founding members of the Drive-By Truckers and many members of DBT nation have long waited for his first solo album. A live album isn’t exactly what they had in mind but it is still a nice addition to any DBT fan’s collection. The Fool On Every Corner is a solo acoustic live album of nearly all Truckers songs recorded among some of the most die-hard fans Cooley and DBT has.
What is really good here are the songs that are drastically different, which not all of them are. Songs like “Pulaski” and “Eyes Like Glue” are a nice inclusion but don’t differ terribly from the Trucker versions. The true jewels are songs like “Cottonseed” that has its heavy southern guitar stomp toned down to just Cooley’s banjo picking. “Shut Up And Get On The Plane” and “3 Dimes Down” get similar treatments with acoustic strums with similar intriguing results. The most appealing part of the record is getting to hear Cooley’s lyrics rise above the music instead of being buried like on the band’s records. The prime example is “Marry Me” with classic lyrics like “Rock and Roll means well but can’t help telling young boys lies” and “Just ’cause I don’t run my mouth don’t mean I got nothin’ to say.”
The Fool On Every Corner only has a couple songs not on other records (the Charlie Rich cover “Behind Closed Doors” and “Drinking Coke and Eating Ice”) and neither of those will blow you away. This record is far from essential but is still unique enough to be very cool to hear.
Key Tracks: “Marry Me” “Cottonseed”