Popular music, Southerners, and progressive social commentary can mix, singers Patterson Hood and Michael Cooley of the band Drive-By Truckers told a Princeton audience March 7. The Southern rock band is known for the progressive messages of its songs, and Hood and Cooley discussed the apparent disconnect between their politics and their conservative hometown of Muscle Shoals, Ala., with Barnard College sociologist Jonathan Rieder. A small crowd braved a raging snowstorm and fallen trees that blocked paths around campus to see the performers in McCosh 50. Rieder talked about the band’s most recent album, American Band, which addressed racism and its legacy in the United States, among other topics. Hood and Cooley discussed the 150-year history of reluctant acceptance of growing racial equality in the South that informed the song “Surrender Under Protest” before playing the song to sustained and energetic applause.