Booker T. & the MGs
It's fitting that Patterson Hood, son of Muscle Shoals bassist David Hood, should record with his dad's Southern-soul peer, 64-year-old Stax-session kingpin Booker T. Jones. Add Neil Young and Hood's bandmates in Drive-By Truckers, and what might've been a generic awards-show jam turns out to be a badass set of MG's-style instrumentals. Jones' sweet, thick Hammond B-3 riffs are spiked with Truckers' roughneck (and surprisingly funky) Southern rock and some exceptionally lyrical, focused Young guitar leads. The originals feel like old standards. But the cover of OutKast's "Hey Ya" is the zinger: It's Southern race-mixing party music come full circle.