Drivin' N' Cryin' at the Hi-Tone Café 

I'm not sure why I never fell under the spell of Atlanta rockers Drivin' N' Cryin', R.E.M. acolytes who were a major club draw on the Southern rock circuit in the late '80s and early '90s. As someone who went to a Memphis high school at the back half of their run and spent many a night at the New Daisy and Antenna Club, I was in their demo, but I somehow never really gave them a good listen in their day. This remains a blind spot for me among many of my generational and geographical — and, okay, gender — cohort.

With a rootsy, garage-y, Southern-rock spin on what was just starting to be called "alternative rock," the band, led by singer Kevn Kinney (pictured), were probably the missing link between underground kings the Replacements and Southern rock hitmaker the Black Crowes. And their roots-rock style predates the more celebrated Uncle Tupelo as alt-country scene-starters.

In other words, they're a pretty significant historical footnote, but also a band with a strong regional fan base. And they're back. Drivin' N' Cryin' released their first album in more than a decade with 2009's The Great American Bubble Factory and now will play their first band show in Memphis in nearly 15 years.

Drivin' N' Cryin' plays the Hi-Tone Café Thursday, November 17th, with Findlay Brown and Wild Feathers. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $10-$15.

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