A previously unreleased song performed entirely by Pantera and Damageplan guitarist Dimebag Darrell, “Whiskey Road,” is now streaming online. The guitarist, who died 10 years ago this month, recorded the tune in 2001, when Pantera were wrapping up what was to be their final U.S. tour. Guitar World, which premiered the tune and has pressed the song to a vinyl flexi-disc, is also offering a guitar TAB transcription of the track online.
The song is a countryish rocker that begins with acoustic guitar and soaring, “Free Bird”-style steel guitar as Darrell sings in a deep voice about drinking the song’s titular libation. “Whiskey road, take me home and wash away the pain,” he sings. “Whiskey road, leave me whole and wash me clean again.” About halfway through the tune, the Pantera shredder kicks into a bluesy solo, full of the quivering screechy highs you’d expect from him along with some swirling, Allman Brothers–type licks that fit in with the tune’s southern rock feel.
In the three years between recording the track and his death, Dimebag Darrell would see the end of Pantera, complete recording of the country-metal album Rebel Meets Rebel with David Allen Coe (which came out in 2006) and put out Damageplan’s New Found Power. On December 8th, 2004, a crazed fan shot and killed the guitarist onstage at a performance with the latter band in Columbus, Ohio.
Earlier this month, Darrell’s former bandmate, vocalist Phil Anselmo, wrote a heartfelt tribute to the guitarist for Rolling Stone and bore his soul about how his friend’s death has affected him over the last decade. “The way he went out, using the word ‘murder’ is always a stark, cold, hideous thing,” Anselmo wrote. “None of this shit gets easier for me. It actually keeps getting tougher and tougher. For me, personally, I’ve yet to come to terms with it. I don’t see the sense. I don’t see the everything-happens-for-a-reason attitude. This year is the toughest yet.”