Drive-By Truckers cancel Christmas Jam appearance

In a statement on their tour schedule, Drive-By Truckers announced that they “will be forced to cancel the remaining shows on their European tour. The band has been sick for several days and last night Mike Cooley collapsed due to exhaustion and dehydration. Doctors have advised complete bed rest. We are very sorry to cancel shows at the end of this tour, especially in Scandinavia, where the band have such a loyal following. Please know we will make every effort to reschedule these shows sometime in the near future. Thank you for your understanding and your continued support.”

At the time, fans were hopeful that the cancellations would not include the Warren Haynes Christmas Jam on Saturday, Dec. 11. In fact, Blurt Magazine sent this tweet to Xpress: “@mxarts You know them damn @DriveByTruckers gonna be troupers. We’ll see ‘em at @xmasjam rain, shine, illness or tapeworms.”

Nice (if slightly icky) sentiment, but shortly thereafter, the following statement was released: “In addition to canceling the end of their European tour the Drive-By Truckers will also cancel their appearance at Christmas Jam in Asheville, NC. The band needs some much needed and deserved time off and sends their sincerest apologies to Warren and all involved with Christmas Jam. They will be back in full force for their New Year’s Eve run in New York.”

—photo by David Oppenheimer,

The same announcement was posted on the Christmas Jam website, though no replacement has yet been named. Fans on the Christmas Jam Facebook page have been voicing their requests:

• Joe Narde wrote, “Get well Cooley. DBT, you will be sorely missed at the Jam. Allmans would be a great substitute though…”
• Greg Chapman wrote, “DRIVIN N CRYINs a good replacement!”
• John Richart wrote, “add John Popper please”
• Rick Hughes wrote, “Only one solution: BRING ON THE MULE!”
• Eric Barnhill wrote, “can you get railroad earth instead of drive dry truckers that would be great”

Facebook user Rick Hughes notes, “Need substitute Good & FAST. People seem to be dumping tickets. Very disappointing. Love to see the MULE, Derek/Susan or Crowes put in.”

Which leads to the question, how do people feel about the current Christmas Jam lineup? Here’s the most recent roster:
• Featuring: Steve Miller Band, The Warren Haynes Band, Gregg Allman, John Bell (Widespread Panic), Umphrey’s McGee, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Missing Cats.
• Special Guests: Mike Barnes, Cody Dickinson, Fred Eltringham, Sherman Ewing, Ruthie Foster, Audley Freed, John “JoJo” Hermann, Terence Higgins, Ron Holloway, Ron Johnson, Robert Kearns, Kevn Kinney, Ivan Neville.

Let us know who you’re excited to see, who you think Christmas Jam needs to add, and if the current lineup still warrants the ticket price.

About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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10 thoughts on “Drive-By Truckers cancel Christmas Jam appearance

  1. Thomas Anthony

    I think we’d still have a killer lineup here for the Jam with no additions. I’d like to see each act get just a little bit more time to open up and explore their jams. Maybe an extended “Xmas Jam Band” with everyone would work, too. The ticket price shouldn’t even be in question here. There is so much bang for the buck with this lineup! If this show was performed in NYC, it would cost $120 just for the cheap seats!!!

  2. JHamm

    It’s a shame they won’t make but it’s understandable. I believe Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ will be in town that weekend so they’d be a logical replacement. Maybe Band of Horses is also a possibility.

  3. ashevillain7

    LOL…Band of Horses…I seriously doubt it. They don’t really fit with the redneck rock theme of this year’s Jam. Albeit if they did play I’d definitely have to get a ticket. Drive By Truckers were one of the reasons I didn’t get a ticket this year….actually the entire lineup other than Dirty Dozen and Warren Haynes is unappealing to me.

    I think either Drivin N Cryin will be added, there will be extended sets or there will be a superjam of sorts are the most likely scenarios.

  4. Ashevegasjoe

    Please, God don’t let it be anyone from Phish, terrible idea John. I don’t think drivin and cryin, or drive by truckers would sell or lose many tickets. They’ve already got JB and Jojo (plus dirty 12)why not bring back Schools and Jimmy, and do a Panic set or Stained Souls, or whatever they want to call the configuration. Asheville loves Panic, and we didn’t get a show this year!

  5. dpewen

    No more jam bands please! Popper was a jerk the last time he was here for the jam … he started smoking a cigarette at the OP and when asked to stop he said no, this is North Carolina.

    I always attend the pre-jam and will miss the best band on the planet … DBT

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