Scarred But Smarter: Life N' Times Of Drivin' N' Cryin'

by Pete Crigler

drivinncryin_scarreddvd_270Well, here it is, the first definitive documentary of the legendary Southern alt rockers Drivin’ N’ Cryin’. The band’s whole story is told here, warts and all; it gets a bit dark after a while, but the silver lining is the recognition the band has received in the last 10 years or so as one of the definitive bands of the South.

Best known to the general public, if they remember them at all, for songs like “Straight To Hell” and “Fly Me Courageous,” the band has had a very long career – over 30 years in all with frontman/guitarist/songwriter Kevn Kinney and bassist Tim Nielsen leading the charge the entire time. The film does a great job of gathering together the band’s whole story from longtime drummer Jeff Sullivan’s alcoholism and subsequent new job in Hollywood to Kinney’s nervous breakdown and personal issues that took place at the height of the band’s popularity in the early ‘90s. Needless to say, after viewing the film, one will never listen to their 1993 ‘disasterpiece’ Smoke the same way again.

Quotes from fans and friends, including Edwin McCain, Darius Rucker, Ed Roland of Collective Soul, Ty Pennington, and others really help to spread the gospel of the band in a positive light. The fact that the band emerged from such a long recording hiatus and came back with one of their most acclaimed records is a testament to their fanbase and Kinney’s outstanding songwriting abilities.

While this wasn’t one of those cling to the edge of your seat music docs, it’s still pretty damn impressive. And for longtime fans of the band, this is an essential piece of the band’s catalogue. For first-timers to the group, it’s an interesting look at an underground band who has kept plugging away and has always tried to do things their own way.

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