Britt Daniel is not a typical songwriter. He doesn’t tell stories, and he constructs verses and melodies out of the sounds of words as much as their meanings, sometimes taking weeks or even months to finish a song. The results are riffy and imagistic. But in the fall of 2003, Daniel’s methods were failing him, and he was having a hard time composing new material. One day, as an exercise, he began stringing together different chords, one after another.
In the early seventies, Ray Wylie Hubbard lived in Dallas but spent his summers in Red River, New Mexico, playing music with other long-haired expats, like Texans B. W. Stevenson and Bob Livingston. There were only two places to buy beer in town, a hippie bar and a redneck bar, and one afternoon, when it was Hubbard’s turn to make a beer run, he decided to go to the redneck joint, the D-Bar-D, because it was closer.