The New OK

The New OK

Release Date: Oct 1, 2020: ATO Records


1. The New OK
2. Tough to Let Go
3. The Unraveling
4.The Perilous Night
5. Sarah's Flame
6. Sea Island Lonely
7. The Distance
8. Watching the Orange Clouds
9. The KKK Took My Baby Away


The New OK

On the big wingspan of your best laid plan
A world that ain’t worth knowing in the palm of our hands
Tried putting the blame on misunderstanding
Village in flames, earthquake, crash landings

She’s a laugh a minute from a joke so cruel
A weighted blanket in the swimming pool
Okeedokee for a broken fool
A new hand sign for your twisted ways
It’s the new OK

Deep in my own head drenched from the cups
I thought going downtown might cheer me up
We promised each other we wouldn’t let it get too rough
Said let me know son, when you’ve had enough

Said let me know when you’ve had your fill
Force of nature and the force of will
Break your spirit when it gets revealed
That you’ve settled for an injury instead of a kill
Blood on your hands that point with skill how we lost our way
It’s the new OK

And I wonder if the life we lived will be around when the weight is lifted
off the ground when the plates have shifted and the whole thing’s burning down
Will we rise up from where we’re planted with our fists up to the sun?
Or will we settle for tear gassed eyes staring down the gun?

Summer in Portland, everything’s fine
Black Lives Matter holding up the line
We got mommies and vets taking fire
From the cops on the beat and the occupiers

It’s 11:29 and the shit comes down
Shooting volleys from behind the fence
Smashing medics and the once free press
It gets bloody and it gets messy
Goons with guns coming out to play
It’s a battle for the very soul of the USA
It’s the new OK

Patterson Hood – Portland, OR, July 26-28, 2020
© Mt. St. Helen Keller Music (BMI),
All rights administered by Words and Music, a division of Big Deal Music, LLC

Tough To Let Go

You know the deal, can’t change how you feel, but you try anyway
You look for the means to conquer your dreams but your insides are quick to betray
Know right from wrong but damned to become just another bum pacing the floor
Carry the weight of your expectations but know they won’t fit through the door

It’s tough to let go when you’re faced but you can’t deliver
You’re not even sure who you are anymore

Unkindness of ravens outside the window
Sound in your head’s like a murder of crows
You’re wondering where did all of the time go?
Cut loose from everything you held close

It’s tough to let go when you’re faced but you can’t deliver
You’re not even sure who you are anymore
It’s tough to let go but you know that these things you are holding onto
are killing you faster than you kill yourself

It’s tough to let go when you’re faced but you can’t deliver
Aces and scars hiding under your sleeve
Goodbyes make you bleed, but you know its time to cast off apart
and take what you need to be part of this life

Take what you need to believe there’s something more worth clinging to
but you’ll never know till you leave

It’s tough to let go It’s tough to let go

Patterson Hood – April 1, 2015 / April 13, 2018
© Mt. St. Helen Keller Music (BMI),
All rights administered by Words and Music, a division of Big Deal Music, LLC

The Unraveling

Something’s gonna happen when you pull that string
About to take the stitching off of everything
The unraveling is happening
The pressure to be perfect made you wind so tight
Worked all day, tossed and turned all night
The unraveling is happening You stripped your screws and broke your spring

The gears you grind are mired and stiff You drive that car right off that cliff
Shift your hip as the music plods Burned your bridges, throw your rods
No matter how you break it down Your friends all scatter when the shit comes down
The unraveling is happening Whole world coming apart at the seams

You sometimes think you could be so free if you drove a little faster into that tree
You hide your feelings in the sound so loud Smile so big and walk so proud
Your family’s in horror cuz you’re off the rails Tears spilled along the bloody trail
The unraveling is happening You lost it all and you had everything

Patterson Hood and Matt Patton © Mt. St. Helen Keller Music (BMI),
All rights administered by Words and Music, a division of Big Deal Music, LLC

The Perilous Night

We needed warming from the cold hard facts
Unheeded warnings bout the broken tracks
All hope is fading and not coming back again
Uniting forces may be calling fast, changing courses to some Stalin past
Melting faces through the looking glass, my friend

Something’s got ahold of our feel alright, out of control in the appetite
We’re moving into the perilous night, Amen

Dumb, white and angry with their cup half filled
Running over people down in Charlottesville
White House Fury, it’s the killing side, he defends
Defend the up-ender, yes he played that tune
It ain’t the ending but its coming soon
We’re making love beneath a sputnik moon again

White House is glowing from that Red Square light
The gates at the border being slammed down tight
We’re moving into the perilous night, my friend
Something’s got ahold of our feel alright, out of control in the appetite
We’re moving into the perilous night, Amen

Why’s that drone looking through my window?
World keeps turning in the torch light shadow
Fourth Reich in khakis is beckoning
Both ends burning to the reckoning

Ronnie Reagan must be spinning his grave
Putin’s on the rise, Ukraine’s under siege
Fascism’s knocking and Trump says “Let Them In”
I’d like to tell you there’ll be better days
But optimism’s running low today
We’re off the deep end with a lifeguard that can’t swim

The Klan and the Nazis are taking up the fight
against their own salvation in the savior’s light
We’re moving into the perilous night, Amen
Flags of oppression are blocking out the light
dismantling The Greatest Generation’s fight
We’re moving into the perilous night, Amen

Patterson Hood © Mt. St. Helen Keller Music (BMI),
All rights administered by Words and Music, a division of Big Deal Music, LLC

Sarah’s Flame

Sarah memorized every bumper sticker
on the back of every pickup with a rebel flag,
Every morning in the senior parking lot
every weekend in the fields with the windows hot
She learned to work them into every sentence
So good she made herself useful to the men who print them
All the way up in the balconies, half the working classes clapping ones and threes

She had them hearing old Dixie driven down in every note of Barry’s baritone
and strangle-holding pearls in the clutches of their liver spotted hands
She made PC worse to Mama than the VD Daddy brought home from the rodeo
She made it look so easy all Fat Donnie had to do was wear the pants

What’s a girl got to do to get a little bit of credit in a place like this?
For knowing Night Moves crowds would never heed The Rivers cautionary winds
For knowing only Mama’s boys would claim involuntary self-inflicted rage
The tikis would’ve never hit the streets if it weren’t for Sarah’s flame

Mike Cooley © Cheap Labor (BMI)
All rights administered by Words and Music, a division of Big Deal Music, LLC

Sea Island Lonely

I flew in from the west coast just in time for last call
This place is way too fancy
I’m never quite prepared for the heat of southern fall
And the guy in the lobby playing piano as I came in
I gave him the stink eye
But I wish that I could play the piano half as good as him

I’m Sea Island lonely, if you see me in the morning
Won’t you please say something kind to me
Won’t you fix me a cup of coffee and tell me that you love me
That this life is how it’s meant to be, how it’s meant to be

Now the driver in the front seat, he’s been more than patient
waiting for me to catch a buzz
To drink another cold beer and put on a dry shirt
so we can make that drive to Jacksonville

I’m flying to New York City at five-thirty in the morning
sleep-walking south of Houston all alone
I’ll just catch myself a different buzz and look up at the bright lights
and revel in the darkness of my songs

Singing Sea Island lonely
It’s a wonder that it’s only written in the wind that carries me
I’ll fix you crunchy bacon and make your eggs less runny
and thank you for the way that you take care of me

Sea Island lonely, don’t even try to telephone me
Cuz the reception is dissolving rapidly
I’ll call you in the morning when New York City lights are dawning
to convince you it’s how it’s meant to be

How it’s meant to be

Patterson Hood © Mt. St. Helen Keller Music (BMI),
All rights administered by Words and Music, a division of Big Deal Music, LLC

The Distance

Standing in the trenches and swinging for the fences
Locked on and clocked in
I ain’t coming to my senses from religion or expenses
or the runs that I ain’t knocked in
I’ll take the best you have to offer and improvise the rest
then do it again tomorrow
Keep your hands out of the coffers and always do your best
and we’ll probably let you follow
We got three hours till daylight, Locked and loaded for the drive

You got to know who you can trust and who’s ass you should bust
when it’s hard to tell the difference
When to put it to the test and when to lead with the left
and what it takes to go the distance

What it takes to go the distance when you live so far from home
Determination and persistence when the first punch has been thrown


Our forefathers used to brave the mighty ocean’s wave
for the things that were denied them
Sailed far away from home without cellular phone
while the dragons swam beside them
They built cities shore to shore for their grandson’s to explore
with just the Northern Star to guide them
Traveled all across this land in our Econoline Van
and did our best to stand beside them

Passing out at the party and waking up alone
What it takes to go the distance when you live so far from home   

Patterson Hood © Mt. St. Helen Keller Music (BMI),
All rights administered by Words and Music, a division of Big Deal Music, LLC

Watching the Orange Clouds

Go ahead and holler for help No one is going to save you.
The voices that were hired to protect only betray you
Now it seems it’s all going down and I’m just standing on
a balcony outside of town Watching the orange clouds

The kids are in their bedrooms asleep and I don’t want to wake them
From some dreams that I hope are sweet These days have shaken them
Walking in our daydreams Needing some awakening
From the privilege of skin and the seat at the table that’s awaiting them

Across the Burnside Bridge there’s heads getting bashed and teargas
Boys too stupid to really be proud
Watching the orange clouds Watching the orange clouds

And I’m trying really hard to find a way to help to make it all better
As I struggle on how and if I should share these stories that are so upsetting
But I’m starting to doubt my own facility of even comprehending my place
It’s too late to try for shelter as the helicopters give it away
Give it away…

Sure wish I could get some sleep Just didn’t realize
this bottom is so damned deep Hoping one day we’ll rise
and move onto some better place We can look back on nightmares
of this endless spring Watching the orange clouds

Watching the orange clouds

And I’m trying really hard to find a way to help make it all better (X3)
And I’m trying really hard to find a way…

Patterson Hood – June 1-3, 2020 (Portland, OR during the protests)
© Mt. St. Helen Keller Music (BMI),
All rights administered by Words and Music, a division of Big Deal Music, LLC

The KKK Took My Baby Away

By Joey Ramone, Dee Dee Ramone and Johnny Ramone
Taco Tunes (ASCAP)
All rights administered by WC Music Corp.


DBT released The Unraveling on Jan. 31st 2020 and set out for what was supposed to be a full year of touring. We completed the first leg of the tour at DC’s beloved 9:30 Club on Feb. 29th. We all went home for a brief break before resuming at Vogue in Indianapolis on March 12th. We were two songs into the soundcheck for that show when we were told that the entire tour was to be postponed indefinitely due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We packed up the trailer and headed home where we’ve pretty much been ever since.

To call these past few months trying would be a dramatic understatement. Our lives are intertwined with our work in ways that give us our best songs and performances. It is a life that has often rewarded us beyond our wildest dreams. Speaking for myself, I don’t have hobbies, I have this thing I do. To be sidelined with a brand new album and have to sit idly while so much that I love and hold dear falls apart before my very eyes has been intense, heartbreaking, anger provoking and very depressing. It has gone to the very heart of our livelihoods and threatened near everything that we have spent our lives trying to build.

I’m blessed to have a beautiful family. Everyone is healthy and so far we’re managing to survive all of this. Same time, I have spent much of these months ricocheting between deep depression and seething anger. I have not been a joy to be quarantined with (to put it mildly) and for that I am truly sorry to everyone that has had to be around me. I know I’m lucky and should be counting my blessings for so many have it far worse than me. For that I feel some degree of shame and guilt, which makes me angrier and more depressed.

Concerned people that I love frequently ask me how I’m doing. I would respond that “I’m OK…The New OK”.

The original idea for this album was to put out an EP utilizing some great tracks we had from the Memphis sessions that The Unraveling was culled from. We actually had a wealth of music recorded in those sessions. Not inferior outtakes, but songs we felt strongly about that didn’t further the narrative of the album we decided to release. We also wanted to include some new songs written during this endless summer of protests, riots, political shenanigans and pandemic horrors. We ended up with a full album that hopefully balances out the darkness of our current situation with a hope for better days and nights ahead.

I wrote Watching the Orange Clouds the weekend after George Floyd’s murder as I watched the whole country rise up in a chaotic firestorm of anger and calls for a righteous change. I wrote The New OK a couple of months later during the heat of the federal occupation in my adopted hometown of Portland, Oregon. We had to record them by sending each other tracks until we had all that we needed for David Barbe to mix the finished songs. The Distance is a song I wrote in 2011. We had an unfinished demo from early in the English Oceans sessions that we took and finished for this album. Again, it’s a song I’ve always loved but it didn’t fit in with the album we were working on at the time. I kinda consider it an epilogue for our early days of touring in our 1988 Ford Econoline. You could almost call it a sequel to Let There Be Rock.

Sea Island Lonely was written in the back of a car taking me to a super early flight after a show in Southern Georgia. It was one of my favorite takes from the Memphis sessions, a total accident that we completed with horns.

Tough To Let Go came to me in a dream. I woke up and immediately wrote it down. We also put horns on that sucker. When I dreamt it, Jason Isbell was singing it. I literally checked with him to make sure that I hadn’t actually stolen it from him. He said I hadn’t, but it was his favorite of my songs from the Memphis sessions.

Cooley wrote Sarah’s Flame in early 2019. I’ll let you guess yourself who this Sarah is whose metaphoric spark lit the tiki torches of Charlottesville. This national nightmare didn’t just happen overnight, that’s for sure.

The Unraveling was a song I wrote several years ago and had always wanted to record but just couldn’t make it work with my singing voice. At some point during the Memphis sessions, I asked Bobby Matt if he would give it a try and he knocked it out of the park. At some point, when we decided to call the last album by that title, we thought it would be cool if we saved the actual title cut for a future record (shades of Led Zeppelin’s “Houses of the Holy”). As we were finishing in Memphis, Barbe told us to go back in and track our cover of The Ramones’ classic The KKK Took My Baby Away. He said we’d be glad we did. That’s yet another reason why he’s been our producer for two decades now.

Finally, in putting it all together, in keeping with the timing of its creation and release, we decided to include The Perilous Night which I began writing on the day the Electoral College voted Trump into office and completed the week after the Charlottesville murder of Heather Heyer on the day that the sitting President said that there was blame on both sides. This is a radically different mix from the mix of the single we released in 2017.

Here’s to the hope that we can make 2021 a better year than this one has been. In the meantime, here’s to The New OK!

See you at The Rock Show.
Patterson Hood
The DBTs - September, 2020


Mike Cooley, Patterson Hood, Brad Morgan, Jay Gonzalez, Matt Patton

Horns (on Sea Island Lonely and Tough to Let Go):
Marc Franklin - Trumpet
Kirk Smothers - Baritone Sax
Victor Sawyer - Trombone
Lannie McMillan - Tenor Sax

Backup Vocals (on The Perilous Night): 3D
(Tangela Longstreet, Joyce Jones and Tawana Cunningham)

Produced by David Barbe

Recorded at Sam Phillips Recording Service, Memphis, Tennessee
by Matt Ross-Spang and David Barbe.
Additional recording at Chase Park Transduction in Athens, Georgia
by David Barbe, Halfling Studio in Portland, Oregon by Adam Lee
and Dial Back Sound in Water Valley, Mississippi by Schaefer Llana.

Mixed by Matt Ross-Spang and David Barbe on a vintage 1975 Neve Board
at Chase Park Transduction in Athens, Georgia.
“The New OK”, “The Distance” and “Watching the Orange Clouds”
mixed by David Barbe at Chase Park Transduction.

Mastered by Greg Calbi and Steve Fallone at Sterling Sound,
Edgewater, New Jersey.

Assistant Engineers: Henry Barbe and Wesley Graham
Sam Phillips Recording Studio Attache: Matt Denham
Chase Park Transduction Interns: Atys Cope, Brad Hagin
and Joseph Hohenstein

Art Direction: Lilla Hood / Hood Creative <>
Album Cover and other Art Work: Wes Freed <>
Back Cover Design: Aaron Draplin / Draplin Design Co. <>
Back Cover Photo: Jason Thrasher <>
Booklet Photos: Jason Thrasher
Liner Notes: Patterson Hood


Ansley, Ross, Lucas and Delilah Cooley; Rebecca, Ava and Emmett Hood; Ruby Morgan; Sibby and Louise Morgan; Katey and Billy Gonzalez; Megan and Hazel Sue Patton.

Lilla, Chris, Reed and Duncan Smith; Jenn Bryant and Matt Ginter; Wes Freed and Jackie Folkes; Jason Wilson; Amy, Annabelle, Winston and Henry Barbe. David Barbe is grateful for the collective excellence of the entire DBT Family, and the patience of Amy Barbe.

Thanks to our beloved Road Crew: Cole Taylor, Henry Barbe (again), Ben Hackett,
Paul McHugh, Jim Wilson, Connor Ostrowski and Matt McGibney

The Greatest Management / Agency / Label / Legal & Biz Team on Earth: Kevin Morris, Christine Stauder and everyone at Red Light Management; Matt Hickey, Frank Riley
and everyone at High Road Touring; Jon Salter, Mike Quinn, Robin Hendrickson
and everyone at ATO Records and PIAS Cooperative; Ken Weinstein, Zack Kraimer
and everyone at Big Hassle Media; J. Reid Hunter and everyone at Serling Rooks Hunter McKoy Worob & Averill, LLP; Dwight Wiles, Samantha Rose
and everyone at Wiles+Taylor & Co., P.C.

Love to The Heathens who travel far and wide, spreading the word and supporting
our band.

Dial Back Sound; Halfling Studio; Wendy, Sadie Jane and Stella Rose Morris; Graham Hickey; Jenn Pool, Erik Golts and Charlie; Dave Fulton; Motrik Band; Bronson Tew; Schaefer Llana; Jason Thrasher and Family; Chris Funk; Adam Lee; Aaron Draplin; Matt Ross-Spang; Jerry Joseph and Family; Traci Thomas; Jason Isbell and Family; Cody Dickinson; Luther Dickinson; Kyleen King; Patti King; Will Johnson and Family; Chuck Reece and the Bitter Southerner Family; The Dexateens; Robert and Cynthia Patton; Bill Kingery; Toni and Walter Gonzalez; Greg Chow; George Davidson; Milton Chapman; Marc Tissenbaum; Chris Grehan; Jeff Soilaeu; Dr. John Contovasilis; Mark Lynn; Beth Dickson and Dean Gavney; Luke and Sarah; Beth and Jeffery Schneider; Big Tom; The Three Dimes Down Family; Bertis Downs; Peter Buck; Danny Clinch; Andy McCulla; Scott McCaughey and Mary Winzig; Lilly Hiatt; Lance Bangs and Corin Tucker; Bennett Moon; David and Judy Hood; Jim and Linda Wright; Jan Patterson; Jay Leavitt and Deep Groove Records; Barrie Buck, Velena and all the fine folks at The Fabulous 40 Watt Club; Jerry Phillips and The wonderful staff at Sam Phillips Recording Service and Chase Park Transduction; Linda Phillips and Bob Sleppy and all at Nuci’s Space; Ken Zankel and Anna Veyna; Andy LeMaster; Don Chambers; William Gibson; Nan and Booker T. Jones; Uncle Josh; Jared Hasmuk; Sarah and Lee Henderson; Mariah Parker; Craig Finn; Chuck Tremblay; Amy and Brandon Haynie and Family; Charlie Mustard and Jittery Joes Coffee; Chelsea Cain, Marc Mohan; Willy Vlautin; Dave Fulton; T. Hardy Morris; Drew Vandenberg; Kyle Craft; and of course our beloved families and friends.

Patterson and Cooley both play several Baxendale Guitars hand built by Scott Baxendale in Athens, GA.

Brad plays Ludwig Drums and Meinl Cymbals, special thanks to Chris Brewer at Meinl Cymbals for all his help. Jay uses Nord Keyboards (as well as a vintage 1958 Hammond B-3 with Leslie); McGibney Guitars and Greer Guitar Pedals. DBT Proudly Uses: Rapco Cables, Seymore Duncan Pickups, D’Addario Strings, Fender Amps, Sommatone Amps, Shure Microphones and Steve Amps: Steve Hunter at Thee Electric Church Tube Amp Repair.

DBT Proudly Supports Nuçi’s Space Artist Resource Center. Please read all about this great organization at