Jam of the Day | Patterson Hood – Come Back Little Star

Photo by Andy Tennille

Patterson Hood, the storytelling frontman of Athens, Georgia’s Drive-By Truckers, is getting ready to release his third solo album, Heat Lightning Rumbles In The Distance, on September 9th (ATO Records). The first track from the album is this gorgeous song co-written by Hood and Kelly Hogan (whose own solo record from 2012 isn’t so shabby itself), for late friend and revered Athens musician, Vic Chesnutt.

Hood notes that Hogan began writing it as a tribute to Chesnutt, and when Hood finished it for her, he originally intended to give the song to Hogan for her own record — on which he appears — but ended up keeping it, and inviting Hogan to join him on the track for his album instead. It’s a gorgeous piano ballad laid over by Hood’s distinctive whine, thickly fuzzy guitars, and pedal steel, and Hood and Hogan sound fantastic in harmony on the chorus.

It’s heartbreaking, too — Chesnutt committed suicide unexpectedly in 2009 after a lifelong struggle with mental illness, and as a paean to a fallen friend, it’s a bit of a weeper. As a tribute to a songwriter as brilliant as Chesnutt, this song is perfect.

Stream “Come Back Little Star” below.

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