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With the prime examples of Reese's Peanut Butter Bars, Pop-Tarts and Twix, good things come in twos.This week, Utah audiences will be treated to two separate two-night stands from alt-country musicians who are too talented to have just one night in town.Friday and Saturday the Drive-By Truckers' Patterson Hood will headline The State Room, and next Tuesday and Wednesday at the same venue the witty troubadour Robert Earl Keen will share his gifts.Both Hood and Keen talked to The Tribune over the phone about their offerings, which obviously will take more than just one show to deliver. (The Keen interview will appear later.)The co-leader of alt-country band Drive-By Truckers comes from The Shoals region of Northern Alabama, and his dad is none other than bassist David Hood of the famed Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section. Dave, who is featured in the recent Sundance Film Festival film "Muscle Shoals," came to Park City in January to jam with other musicians with connections to Muscle Shoals.Hood is on a short jaunt to the West, and said he loves "coming out there" to Salt Lake City because of his friend Kevin Kirk, owner of the Heavy Metal Shop, where he stops every time he is in town. (A special-edition t-shirt on sale at The Heavy Metal Shop was designed by the Drive-By Truckers' resident artist Wes Freed.)Hood's third solo album, "Heat Lightning Rumbles In The Distance," was released in September and comes from Hood's failed attempts to write a novel called "Slam Dancing in the Pews," he said. "I just stopped," he said of the novel."The main character was kind of based on me. It wasn't a totally happy book ... I'm too busy to do something I don't enjoy. I saved it and maybe I'll come back to it."Hood took lines from the book to create his intimate, intensively personal album, and even takes the opportunity to recite a part of the book in the track "(untold pretties)," which details a lost love, his grandfather's funeral, a new love and the line, "You can only carry hell around so long before it gets to be a drag.""I'm pretty happy about everything on the album," Hood said. "Some records are better than others. I'm generally happy about the way the band plays, and the songs hold up." The only thing he does wince at, as he always does, is how he sings, he said.Although guitarist John Neff left the Drive-By Truckers just after Christmas, Hood said the Drive-By Truckers are "in a great place" and will start recording a new album soon. "It will be a more stripped-down, more punk-rock record," he said. "I think we needed time to recharge."
Patterson HoodWhen • Friday, March 29, and Saturday, March 30, at 9 p.m.Where • The State Room, 638 S. State St., Salt Lake CityTickets • $25 at thestateroom.comInfo • Hood will be at The Heavy Metal Shop (63 Exchange Place, Salt Lake City) on Saturday, March 30 between 5 and 6 p.m.