Town Burned Down

Town Burned Down

Recorded: 1990
Release Date: Sept 21, 2018 on ATO Records


Mike Cooley and Patterson Hood of Drive-By Truckers formed Adam’s House Cat in the Muscles Shoals area of Alabama in 1985. Their songs and friendship became the foundation on which DBT was built.

Their one and only “lost” album from 1990 was remixed by David Barbe, mastered by Greg Calbi and is now available for the first time with archival photos and extensive liner notes from Patterson Hood.


Side 1:
1. Lookout Mountain
2. Town Burned Down
3. Runaway Train
4. Down On Me
5. 6 O’ Clock Train
6. Buttholeville

Side 2:
1. Child Abuse
2. Love Really Sucks
3. Kiss My Baby
4. Shot Rang Out
5. Long Time Ago
6. Cemeteries


Lookout Mountain

Throw myself off of Lookout Mountain
No more for my soul to keep
Wonder who will drive my car?
Wonder if my mom will weep?
If I throw myself off of Lookout Mountain
No more pain my soul to bear
No more worries about paying taxes
What to eat, what to wear
Who will end up with my records?
Who will end up with my tapes?
Who’s gonna pay my credit card bills?
Who’s gonna pay for my mistakes?
Throw myself off of Lookout Mountain
Who will ever hear my songs?
Who will mow the cemetery when all of my family’s gone?
Who will my dad ever find to continue the family name?
Who stand there taking credit?
Who will lay there passing blame?
All Lyrics by Patterson Hood / Music by Adam’s House Cat

Town Burned Down

Followed the firetruck home
Saw my whole world up in flames
I’m burned down
Nothing left for me to do but get in my car and drive
Gonna run away
Away from this town burned down
Girl you couldn’t stop me if you tried
You can join me - we won’t stop until we find
A chance to start again
I found out as the smoke was clearing what it means to be alone
All my friends are either burned out or gone
Want to run away
Run so far away
Get in the car and drive away from this town burned down
We can close our eyes until the smoke is out of sight
A chance to start again
We won’t need no plans
Make it up as we go along
Me and my rock and roll band
You and your half burned belongings
We can make a stand
We can make a stand
Followed the firetruck home
I saw everything I worked so hard to build burned to the ground
Saw some dear old friends being spectators, standing around
Town burned down
Gonna run away
Pack our things and drive away from this town burned down
We will never look back
Look ahead until we find a chance to start again
Town burned down
Town burned down
All Lyrics by Patterson Hood / Music by Adam’s House Cat

Runaway Train

Me and my baby’s on a runaway train
On a runaway train on a runaway train
Runaway train, You and me
So damn glad it’s a one way ride
Time’s running out, Steaming faster Nonstop joy ride, no way back
Tell my mama I’m coming back home
Soon as this train runs off its track
Me and my baby’s on a runaway train...
Be quiet bitch don’t scream at me
Save your dirty looks for the undertaker
Before too long it’ll all be gone
Drops of blood in the boiler-maker
Then we’ll be on the TV news
The lives we lived lost in vain
Bought my ticket on a runaway train
Can’t stand living, can’t stand pain
Be no flowers or sympathy
Just a big red stain on the bedroom wall
Me and my baby’s on a runaway train
On a runaway train on a runaway train
No more boring nights with the TV set on
No more stinkin’ fights on the telephone
No more screaming lies no more phony I love you's
Cause I can’t stand me and I can’t stand you
Runaway train, I can’t stand
The way you look when you look at me
Runaway train I can’t stand
The sound of your voice when you talk to me
Runaway train I can’t stand
To feel your touch when you’re touching me
Don’t mind dying cause it’s hard and fast
A mass of broken metal broken bodies broken glass
Broken engines broken hearts, full throttle overdrive
Broken people all around, Broken trains broken lives
Me and my baby’s on a runaway train
On a runaway train on a runaway train
Me and my baby’s on a runaway train
On a runaway train on a runaway train
All Lyrics by Patterson Hood / Music by Adam’s House Cat

Down On Me

Head against the pillow, bricks against my head
Buried under rubble since you walked out of the bedroom
Your words they did some lashing
I still feel the sting
You used some mighty big words
I’m glad I don’t know what they mean
Words against the boulder brought from mountains to the sea
Why’d you have to send your words
Down on me...
Not so long ago I was a solitary man
I lived alone and travelled alone
Then I met my Waterloo, boy she was a beauty
Left and sent your whole world crashing
Down on me...
And it’s gonna be a long long time before I pick up the pieces you left of me
And it’s gonna be a long long time before I pick up the pieces you left of me
I wish I could manipulate these odds
I wish that it was over - it hasn’t even started
I wish that I could lift your boulders off of me
Wish that I could stop your words from crashing
Down on me
Stop messing with my words
Stop playing with my mind
Stop tearing me to pieces
Stop teasing me
All Lyrics by Patterson Hood / Music by Adam’s House Cat

6 O’Clock Train

There’s a long train runs next to my house
6 o’clock every morning
Wakes me up, heads straight out of town
But I don’t know where it’s going
Rattles my windows, shakes my floors
It almost makes my dishes break
I got this miserable feeling all around my head
That I just can’t shake
Makes me wanna jump on that 6 o’clock train
Ride it right out of town
Makes me wanna jump on that 6 o’clock train
Ride it right out of town
There’s this ignorant way of thinking
That’s so widespread among some people in my hometown
They persecute you if you’re different
Want everything the same
And it’s bringing me down
They got this hypocrite notion ‘bout not rocking the boat
This bible belt morality they shove down my throat
I’ve had all I can swallow, ‘till I’m about to choke
I turn around, spit it out
And I’m searching for a jagged edge
Each time they try and bring my dreams down
Makes me wanna jump on that 6 o’clock train
Ride it right out of town
I’m getting tired of always runnung ‘round in circles
But I can’t find an off ramp
See I got this band but there’s no place to play
And this lack of local interest ‘bout to run my band away
There’s a long train runs next to my house
Wakes me up
On its way out of town...
All Lyrics by Patterson Hood / Music by Adam’s House Cat


Tired of living in Buttholeville
Tired of my job and my wife Lucille
Tired of my kids Ronnie and Neil
Tired of my 68 Bonneville
Working down at Billy Bob's Bar and Grill
The food here tastes like the way I feel
There's a girl on the dance floor dressed to kill
She's the best looking woman in Buttholeville
One day I'm gonna get out of Buttholeville
Gonna reach right in, gonna grab the till
Buy a brand new hat and buy a Coupe deVille
Lay a patch on the road that runs over the hill
There's a beach somewhere where the waters are still
Gonna lay in the sun till my lily-white skin peels
Drinking the best scotch whiskey, eating lobster and eel
and I'm never going back to Buttholeville
Never going, never going, never going never going back!
All Lyrics by Patterson Hood / Music by Adam’s House Cat

Child Abuse

Mama she likes to beat me
Beat me black and blue
Why you wanna hurt me so bad, what have I done to you
Mama likes to make my lip bleed
Blood all over the place
Bruises on my arms and my legs
Back my neck and my face
Talkin’ bout child abuse
Child abuse Child abuse
Talkin’ bout child abuse
Mama mama put that iron down
Please don’t burn me again
I’m getting sick and tired of you beating me up in front of my friends
Mama you tell me you love me, I don’t doubt it’s true
I’m starting to doubt all the old talk about who’s been hurting who
Talkin’ bout child abuse
Child abuse Child abuse
Talkin’ bout child abuse
Judge show me compassion
I’m sorry for what I’ve done
I know that it’s wrong, but I’m raising my son
The only way I know
Talkin’ bout child abuse
Child abuse Child abuse
Talkin’ bout child abuse
All Lyrics by Patterson Hood / Music by Adam’s House Cat

Love Really Sucks

I’m as alone as alone can get
I’m as alone as alone can get
I’m as alone as alone can get
Since you came into my life
Since you came into my life my dear
Since you came into my life my dear
Since you came into my life my dear
There’s no room for me
There’s no room for my records here
There’s no room for my hopes and fears
There’s no room for my underwear
There’s no room for me
Love really sucks
Love’s for broken hearts and fools
Love’s for broken hearts and fools
Moronic, dimwit assholes like me and you
Love really sucks when you call my name
Love really sucks when you say I’m to blame
Love really sucks ever since you came
You came into my life
Love really sucks when you call my name
Love really sucks when you say I’m to blame
Love really sucks ever since you came
You came into my life
Into my life
All Lyrics by Patterson Hood / Music by Adam’s House Cat

Kiss My Baby

Paid your dues
Your nose is brown and stinking
Seem confused
I take it you’ve been thinking
Calloused hands
Handshakes with the devil
Bloody knees
Endorsements don’t come free
Hope that I ain’t offended his noble highness
Come on in, we’ll sip a cup of tea
Kiss my baby
Kiss my baby
Kiss my baby
You son of a bitch
When you stumble are you drunk from our attentions
When you stumble are you tripping on ambitions
Along the way maybe a flashbulb blinded you
Along the way maybe you just lost your way
Maybe you just sprung from the womb evil
Can you afford to be seen with trash like me
Kiss my baby
Kiss my baby
Kiss my baby
You son of a bitch
The flag behind you clashes with your hair, dear
When you smile I’m blinded by the glare
Maybe I could hold my breath and wait for your promises to come true
Would you call me an ambulance when I turn blue
All Lyrics by Patterson Hood / Music by Adam’s House Cat

Shot Rang Out

Shot rang out in the darkness of the night
Shot rang out, someone falls, someone runs
Shot rang out, two lives never be the same
Was it me who fell or me who held the gun
Pour me a drink, there’s just too much to design
Did I break your heart or you break mine?
Everybody’s choosing sides, cheer their chosen on
When it’s over no one’s there to clean the mess
If you’re lucky, you’ve got scars to take back home
If you’re not, you just run like all the rest
Pour me a drink, there’s just to much to design…
There are pieces of my heart, splattered on the ground
There are pieces of yours tangled up in mine
Who’s the blame and what’s the difference anyway?
One heart’s dead and buried, one heart’s doing time
Shot rang out in the darkness of the night
Shot rang out, someone falls someone runs
Tone shot, two lives thrown down the drain
All the guilt in the world won’t bring back either one
Pour me a drink…
All Lyrics by Patterson Hood / Music by Adam’s House Cat

Long Time Ago

Best friend told me you were back in town
Remember the last time you was around
A long time ago
You came to me, you called to me
You damn near institutionalized me
A long time ago
Just took a look at your photograph
The look on your face still makes me laugh
Do you still take yourself so seriously
Do you still try to act so mysteriously
I remember when you had me under your spell
You bit my lip and my heart as well
A long time ago
A long time ago I was so bruised because of you
But now the red’s back into my face
I’m back living in the human race
And I’m never gonna be who I used to be
A long time ago
When I think back on you I just remember two things
Bitch bitch bitch cry cry cry
Bitch bitch bitch cry cry cry
A long time ago
All Lyrics by Patterson Hood / Music by Adam’s House Cat


Driving all alone past cemeteries in the country
Soybeans and power lines, curves and morning fog
Standing in the church a cappella songs of mourning
Rise above as tears are falling
The family’s somber calls of “why”
I am just a new boy in this family full of grief
Maintaining somber postures in this time of disbelief
Driving in the lineup headlights on and all along
To another cemetery in the middle of the road
Tears in her eyes she said
“The worst is yet to come
With one third already gone
And two thirds left to succumb
To roads with a bridge out or to lightning from the sky
There’s so many ways to die
And no one can tell me why”
"Why you standing there boy
With your fancy suit and tie
Can’t you tell we’re dressed in black
She ain’t never coming back"
As they lowered down her body into the cold and somber ground
I turn around and realize they’re looking up, I’m looking down
Faith will never leave you when it’s all you’re clinging to
But it’s a time of much distractions
I’m standing all alone
Lying in the cemetery
Names and dates and flowers
Grass so freshly mown
Angels made of stone
Cars may pass on by me now
Some may even stop
To bring me plastic flowers
To look at me and ask themselves
Ask themselves why
Ask yourself
(Patterson Hood/AHC)



Adam's House Cat

Drive-By Truckers have announced the long awaited arrival of TOWN BURNED DOWN, the first-ever official release from singer/songwriter/guitarists Mike Cooley and Patterson Hood’s original incarnation as Adam’s House Cat. Recorded in 1990 but never before released as intended, the album arrives at all DSPs and streaming services via ATO Records on Friday, TK.

While Mike Cooley and Patterson Hood may have founded Drive-By Truckers in 1996, the two musicians had in fact first come together more than a decade prior. They met on August 1, 1985, the day Hood moved into a dank basement apartment in North Florence, AL shared by Cooley. The two young musicians took notice of each other’s guitars and became fast friends, drinking cheap beer and singing songs together on the flat’s shabby couch. Among those songs were originals penned by Hood, including one that took its title from the Southern colloquialism, I wouldn’t know him from Adam’s house cat. Hood and Cooley worked out a rendition of the song that quickly led to another and then another. That first collaboration eventually gave the band its moniker – Adam’s House Cat was born.

Adam’s House Cat proved rebellious from the jump, the only young band in the Muscle Shoals region playing hard rocking original music. Despite the area’s long musical tradition and legendary studio scene – including of course FAME Studios and Muscle Shoals Sound, the latter co-founded by Hood’s dad, session bassist extraordinaire David Hood – times had changed in Muscle Shoals. No matter the cause, be it a downturned local economy or a record industry shift towards studios in Nashville and Los Angeles, the Muscle Shoals live scene in the mid-1980s was now limited to Top 40 cover bands and country and western, more likely a bit of both.

Undeterred, Hood and Cooley enlisted drummer Chuck Tremblay, more than a decade their senior but a gifted musician who after years toiling in motel lounge combos had his own personal commitment to only playing original music. A series of bass players did short time with the band before the arrival of John Cahoon, son of the mayor of Tuscumbia, AL and more importantly, a rebellious, rock-solid bassist.

Beginning in 1987, Adam’s House Cat spent three years grinding it out in bars and clubs around their home region, from Birmingham and Huntsville to Nashville, Memphis, and Oxford, MI. Wider attention came when the band’s infectious “Smiling At Girls” was named one of 10 First Place winners (out of over 1500 entries) in MUSICIAN Magazine’s Best Unsigned Band Contest, judged by an all-star panel that included Elvis Costello, T-Bone Burnett, Mitchell Froom, and Mark Knopfler. The track was featured on a nationally distributed compilation CD, garnering interest from an array of labels and managers across the South.

Despite hard touring around the Southeast, no deals came of Adam’s House Cat’s first success. The band took matters into their own hands, recording a collection of original train songs on four-track cassette dubbed TRAINS OF THOUGHT. Songs like “6 O’ Clock Train” and “Buttholeville” reflected the band’s frustration with their home region, a profound dissatisfaction that often enraged local audiences, occasionally to the point of incipient violence.

On November 25, 1990, Adam’s House Cat set up in the rooms upstairs from Muscle Shoals Sound Recording Studio and recorded basic tracks for fifteen songs with producer/engineer Steve Melton (Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band, Traffic). Tracked live on 2’’ analog 24-track tape, the songs recorded that freezing cold day represent an historic document of Adam’s House Cat in all their electrifying, unwieldy glory. The cavernous studio’s plaster walls, hardwood floors, and 25-foot ceilings enabled the band them to create a massive sound without using the digital reverb common in that that era. As a result, the recordings – mostly first and second takes – capture Adam’s House Cat as they truly were, loud, passionate and bracingly determined.

Adam's House Cat

1991 saw Adam’s House Cat struggling to both fund their album’s completion and simply stay together. Hood tracked his lead vocals in on the same January night in which George H.W. Bush began Operation Desert Storm. Backing vocals and minimal overdubs were added that winter and though Hood was not entirely thrilled with his vocal performances, by spring, Melton had begun mixing the raw recordings. Cahoon abruptly left the band mid-summer, replaced by Chris Quillen, who eventually contributed a memorable high harmony vocal to the album’s “Long Time Ago.”

Alas, Adam’s House Cat’s days were numbered. Hood and Cooley relocated to Memphis in early September and though their live shows that month proved among the band’s best ever, by month’s end, the band had played its last, quietly breaking up after an uneventful gig in Nashville. TOWN BURNED DOWN not only went unreleased, the original 24-track tapes were lost after Muscle Shoals Sound was sold and liquidated. As if that weren’t bad enough, Melton’s mixes were boxed up and sent to Jackson, MS’s Malaco Studio where they were later destroyed when a devastating tornado struck the historic building in 2011.

Hood and Cooley carried on, collaborating on a couple of ill-fated projects, but in 1993, the two had a falling out that lasted until Hood relocated to Athens, GA in April the following year. Their musical partnership resumed, with Hood making monthly visits to Cooley’s Birmingham apartment to record four-track demos together. With Cooley now also writing original songs, a new vision began to take shape. Hood and Cooley intended Chris Quillen to be a founding member but the bassist was tragically killed in a car accident that May, mere weeks before Drive-By Truckers officially came into being. John Cahoon passed away in 1999.

Fast-forward more than twenty years in which Drive-By Truckers grew to become what Stereogum hailed as “perhaps the greatest extant American rock and roll band,” equally acclaimed for their landmark 11 LP canon as well as their epic live performances. In YEAR TK, three boxes labeled “ADAM’S HOUSE CAT” mysteriously appeared in the tape vault of longtime friend and DBT producer David Barbe’s Athens, GA studio. Contained within were the unmixed 2’’ tape master tapes of TOWN BURNED DOWN, along with another reel containing an EP’s worth of songs recorded the previous year.

Partly inspired by Chuck Tremblay’s near fatal heart attack in the spring of 2017, Hood made a New Year’s resolution to finally complete TOWN BURNED DOWN and in February 2018, Barbe baked the fragile tapes and placed them on reels for the first time in more than a quarter century.

Though the music and material were as powerful as ever, perhaps even more so, Hood remained as unhappy with his vocal performance as he had been in the past. Wondering if his hard-earned abilities would allow him to finally sing his songs as originally intended, Hood decided to attempt new vocal tracks. Within two hours, vocals were recorded for the entire album, raw and cathartic takes that were at once true to Hood’s original intent but reflecting the lessons of the intervening years.

On April 16, 2016, Hood, Cooley, and Tremblay convened at Barbe’s Chase Park Transduction studio in Athens to complete mixing TOWN BURNED DOWN – the first reunion of the Adam’s House Cat founding members in more than 27 years. The final mixes were later mastered at Sterling Sound in Edgewater, NJ by longtime DBT collaborator Greg Calbi.

TOWN BURNED DOWN can at last be properly heard the way Adam’s House Cat always wanted it to be heard, its raw soul and boisterous enthusiasm already hinting at what was yet to come. Songs like “Runaway Train” and “Cemeteries” display dark edges that surely must’ve intimated audiences in their time but now sound startlingly heartfelt and full of fiery joy, energized by Cahoon and Tremblay’s versatile, dynamic backing and of course, the ever-present, undeniable chemistry between Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley.

Nearly three decades later, Muscle Shoals is once again an important American musical scene boasting countless new bands and young artists who proudly attest their deep roots in the community and its culture. Though few have actually heard their music, Adam’s House Cat has long loomed large as both groundbreaking innovators and the missing link between Muscle Shoals’ celebrated then and vibrant now.

“Finally releasing TOWN BURNED DOWN brings a sort of closure to one of the saddest and most important chapters of mine and Cooley’s lives,” writes Hood in the LP’s detailed liner notes. “The years we spent pounding out these songs made us the people and artists that we have later become but we carried with us a darkness from never having been able to get the album out. The sound of these songs blasting out of the control room after all of these years while Cooley, Chuck and I grinned from ear to ear has truly been one of the most joyous events of my entire life. Songs from literally half of my life ago that somehow still seem vital to me all of these years later.”


All Lyrics by Patterson Hood / Music by Adam’s House Cat
These songs written 1984 – 1990, mostly in Florence, Alabama.
“Kiss My Baby” chorus inspired by quote from Patrick Hood (no relation)
All songs © Mt. St. Helen Keller Music Music / Words and Music International (BMI) except “Lookout Mountain” and “Buttholeville”
© Soul Dump Music / Words and Music International (BMI)

Produced by Steve Melton and Adam’s House Cat
Engineered by Steve Melton
Mix and Restoration by David Barbe

Adam’s House Cat (1985 – 1991)
Mike Cooley - Guitars and B. Vocals
Patterson Hood - Guitars and Lead Vocals
Chuck Tremblay - Drums
John Cahoon - Bass and B. Vocals
Chris Quillen - B. Vocals on “Long Time Ago”
April Lynn - Participation in the fighting couple section of “Love Really Sucks”

Basic Instrumental Tracks Recorded Live, upstairs in the cavernous big rooms (21' ceilings, hardwood floors and plaster walls) in the former Naval Reserve Building that housed Muscle Shoals Sound Studios on November 25th, 1990.

New lead vocals and mixes made at Chase Park Transduction Studios in Athens, Georgia. No modifications were made whatsoever in the original instrumental tracks of the album. All new lead vocals were done in a couple of hours, mostly 1-2 takes each on February 12, 2018. Mixes by David Barbe on April 16 – 18, 2018.

Dedicated to the memories of John Cahoon, Chris Quillen, Lilla Ruth “Sissy” Patterson and George A. Johnson.

Cover Photo (The Hotel Grant Fire, Summer 1991) by Shannon Wells
Reunion photo by Jason Thrasher
All other band photos by Patrick Hood (no relation)
Archival help and personal assistance by Jenn Bryant
Layout and design by Lilla Hood

THANKS: David Barbe, Brad Morgan, Jay Gonzalez, Bobby Matt Patton, the DBT Family; Kevin Morris, Christine Stauder, Jon Salter and everyone at ATO Records, Rebecca, Ava and Emmett Hood, Ansley, Ross, Lucas and Delilah Cooley; Dick Cooper, David Hood, Judy Hood, Steve Melton, John Cahoon’s Family, Ray and Patricia Cahoon, Kathryn Meert; Barbara Kling RIP, Chuck’s Aunt Marge Lackaye RIP, Martha Rezack, Robb and Christina Root; Jenn Bryant, Patrick Hood, Shannon Wells, Jason Thrasher, Greg Calbi, Soul Dump Records, Lilla Hood, Shannon Wells, Shannen Davis, T. Cole Taylor, Henry Barbe, Jan Adams and Cooley’s Uncle Ed RIP.