JASON ISBELL and the 400 UNIT – ” Cumberland Gap “

Posted: April 30, 2017 in MUSIC
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One thing that Jason Isbell doesn’t always get to do is just rock the hell out. As a former member of Drive-By Truckers, and now as a solo artist, one picture of Isbell is as a thoughtful and introspective dude who documents the whole “Southern thing” as well as anyone going, while kind of keeping the amps dialed down.

That couldn’t be further from the truth on “Cumberland Gap,” the second single from his soon-to-be-released sixth album. With his former band The 400 Unit backing him up, Isbell blazes through the dusty and abandoned trails of the titular Appalachian pass. The song’s character at every turn and every squall of guitar is just trying to get out of Dodge. A small town’s bars are no longer an escape but another form of oppression. There’s not much wealth to be spread around. The mines have shut down, and one of the few opportunities for employment is to go fight in some bullshit war. It’s as though the man of “Outfit” has stuck around for too long and the realization has hit him like a ‘69 Chevy with a 396 going 80 mph. The Cumberland Gap swallowed his daddy up, and now it’s doing the same to him. It’s certainly one of the more darkly affective tunes Isbell has crafted, and absolutely one of this year’s best rock songs.

The Nashville Sound is out June 16th on Southeastern Records.

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