Tour dates and further lineup changes followed the album's release, with bassist Earl Hicks departing and studio musician Shonna Tucker (who was also Isbell's wife) climbing aboard to join Hood, Cooley, Isbell, and drummer Brad Morgan.
The new lineup made its debut on 2004's The Dirty South, a concept album that spun Southern tales of small towns, violent sheriffs, and legendary record producers.
The DBT's followed the release of English Oceans with their usual rounds of extensive touring, and a three-night stand at the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco in the fall of 2014 was recorded for the group's most ambitious live album to date.
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In 2012, Mike Cooley followed Hood's lead with his debut solo effort, The Fool on Every Corner, drawn from a pair of solo acoustic performances.
Returning to the studio in 2013 with longtime producer David Barbe, the group (now a five-piece with the departure of John Neff and the addition of new bassist Matt Patton, who replaced Tucker after she left for a solo career) opted for a stripped-back sound for its 12th album, 2014's English Oceans.
After several months of between-label limbo, the band was picked up by New West Records, a Texas-based label that released Decoration Day in mid-2003.
The album featured several songs by newcomer Jason Isbell, a young singer/guitarist who had replaced Rob Malone two years prior.
Boasting a mix of Southern pride, erudite lyrics, and a muscled three-guitar attack, Drive-By Truckers became one of the most well-respected alternative country-rock acts of the 2000s.