Posts Tagged ‘Jason Isbell’

Amazing acoustic performances by three of music’s most gifted songwriters of any generation. ‘Live at the Shoals Theatre’ will be released on LP + CD on June 4th 2021. On June 15th 2014, Jason Isbell reunited onstage with former Drive By Truckers bandmates Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley for a special round-style night in Muscle Shoals Music. The setlist includes acoustic versions of Isbell-era Truckers gems including “Heathens,” “Decoration Day” and “Zip City” as well as post-Isbell Truckers tracks like “Space City” and solo Isbell faves such as “Cover Me Up.” The set opens and closes with a pair of classic Hood-sung numbers, 2004′s “Tornadoes” and 2001′s “Let There Be Rock.”  

Mike Cooley – Vocals, Guitar
Patterson Hood – Vocals, Guitar
Jason Isbell – Vocals, Guitar

We’re thrilled to announce that this legendary in-the-round performance was recorded and has now been mixed and mastered for your listening pleasure. This 4 LP Box set is pressed on coke-bottle clear & transparent pink vinyl and includes liner notes from Patterson Hood. This colour variant is available exclusively through their web store.

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The CD version is a two disk, 6 panel digipak. 

Recorded live at the Shoals Theatre in Florence, AL on 6/15/14

4LP Box Set (2 Coke Bottle Clear / 2 Transparent Pink)

Amanda Shires and Jason Isbell performed “The Problem” on `The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon’ this past Friday, January 22nd, 2021.

“The Problem,” featuring Isbell, was released last year to critical praise on International Safe Abortion Day, with proceeds benefitting The Yellowhammer Fund in Alabama. The Tonight Show performance coincided with two important events: The release of a new version of “Our Problem” featuring a variety of world-renowned female artists including Cyndi Lauper, Angie Stone, K.Flay, Lilly Hiatt, Linda Perry, Morgane Stapleton, Nona Hendryx, Peaches and Valerie June. Sheryl Crow is on bass, Isbell is on guitar, with Peter Levin on keys and Chris Powell on drums.

“I’m very grateful to have so many of my sisters joining me for ‘Our Problem.’ The issue of women’s rights and reproductive health affects us all. ‘Our Problem’ represents women of all generations, musical genres, and communities. Music has the power to bridge gaps and bring people together and I hope that ‘Our Problem’ reminds you that we are all in this world together and that we can be there for one another no matter what. You are never alone and I’m on your side.”

The other event was the anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade decision which gives women in America the right to legal abortion. To help mark this special collaboration, Shires has created an “I’m On Your Side” filter accessible on her Instagram page. She is inviting fans to send in videos of themselves singing or lip syncing “Our Problem,” which she will cut together into a full video.

Gena Johnson: background vocals Jennifer Decilveo: additional production (vocals and synth) Musicians: Sheryl Crow – Bass Jason Isbell – Guitar Peter Levin – Keys Chris Powell – Drums

Written by: Amanda Shires

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Beast of a lineup, this. It’s happening on my birthday & I always wanted to open for Jason Isbell – so it’ll be a nice start to a fresh trip around the sun. I hope to see you there! Thirty Tigers & Americana Music Association UK

jason isbell, jason isbell patterson hood, patterson hood, mike cooley, drive by truckers, jason isbell drive by truckrers, dbt, the dirty south dbt, cover me up, jason isbell cover me up, jason isbell 6/15/14

Jason Isbell dug into the vaults to pull out a special 2014 concert alongside his former Drive-By Truckers bandmates Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley . The concert, which took place at the Shoals Theatre in Florence, AL on June 15th, 2014, is available now on Bandcamp.

The show came together as a benefit concert for Terry Pace, a fixture in the local Shoals artistic scene. Pace—an actor, director, producer, lecturer and music historian—suffered a pair of “debilitating” strokes in March of that year, and faced a long and expensive road to recovery. Together these former bandmates, who hadn’t shared the stage in years, came together to perform in-the-round on this special evening.

The setlist for the evening saw a vibrant mix of the Drive-By Truckers songbook alongside some choice covers including a selection from Isbell’s then-budding solo career. Starting off the show with “Tornadoes” from Drive-By-Truckers’ 2004 record The Dirty South, the trio explored the band’s output during Isbell’s tenure of 2001—2007. Given Isbell’s seemingly-sudden departure from the group seven years prior, which in no small part led to the lasting sobriety he enjoys to this day, this concert served as an important statement to fans that there were no hard feelings.

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Over the course of the 25-song performance, the trio mined much of The Dirty South as well as 2003’s Decoration Day. It was toward the end of the evening, however, that Isbell showed everyone what he had been up to with a take on his solo single “Cover Me Up”. In the end, the show came to a raucous close with a 12-minute cover of AC/DC‘s “Let There Be Rock”.

Live at Shoals Theatre from Jason Isbell, Patterson Hood, and Mike Cooley is available to purchase on Bandcamp.

Recorded live at the Shoals Theatre in Florence, AL on 6/15/14
Released November 6th, 2020
The Band:
Mike Cooley – Vocals, Guitar
Patterson Hood – Vocals, Guitar
Jason Isbell – Vocals, Guitar

Last month, Amanda Shires released “The Problem” in recognition of International Safe Abortion Day. The riveting ballad, featuring her husband Jason Isbell, confronted the stigmas associated with reproductive rights, and over the weekend “The Problem” received the live video treatment from Isbell and Shires.

Shires said the song was originally written in 2016 and narrated by a group of women discussing the decision to have an abortion. “Its first incarnation was talking about another girl’s abortion. It just struck me that it’s not something we all talk about, and it should be something that we talk about,” Shires in a telephone interview. “And when you hear people talk about it, you usually hear ‘em describing somebody else — whether it’s really somebody else or ‘asking for a friend,’ you never really know.”

Instead, Shires uses a young couple’s conversation about whether to have an abortion to propel the song, echoing her own experience with abortion in her late 20s. The husband-and-wife team are gearing up to hit the road for a run of acoustic duo performances next month. On November 5th, Isbell and Shires will play a drive-in show at Maggie Valley Festival Grounds in North Carolina, as well as a two-night run of “pod” concerts at The Bend in Charleston, SC on November 6th and 7th.

The video features a familiar sight for fans of Isbell, Shires, and Peter Levin‘s “I So Lounging” series, as the power couple performs from their house just outside of Nashville, TN. While the sound of the video is markedly similar to the single released last month, the performance video provides added emotion to the already-wrenching song. Throughout Shires and Isbell’s back-and-forth vocals, they return to a refrain of “I’m on your side.” While only four simple words, this provides a backbone to the message of standing by and supporting those affected by the fight for women’s rights.

Amanda Shires and Jason Isbell perform “The Problem.” Recorded live at the barn.

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One of the best things to come out of this weird year is all the Jason Isbell live albums, and here’s another one. This one’s from the iconic Red Rocks amphitheatre, and as usual, you get to stream one song for free (“Anxiety”), and you have to purchase it to hear the other 18.

Fans are now able to relive Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit‘s September 2017 concert at Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheater, as the entire performance has been shared to their Bandcamp for streaming and digital download. Entitled, Live At Red Rocks – Morrison, CO – 9/7/17, the 20-track live album is the latest archive audio to be released to Isbell’s Bandcamp, which includes Live at the CMA Theater released last month.

The September 7th, 2017 concert at the famous outdoor amphitheater included performances of “Anxiety”, “Alabama Pines”, “White Man’s World”, “Cumberland Gap”, “Stockholm”, “Cover Me Up”, and “If We Were Vampires” to name a few. Isbell’s band for the evening included his wife and fiddle player Amanda Shires, bassist Jimbo Hart, guitarist Sadler Vaden, drummer Chad Gamble, and pianist/singer Derry de Borja.

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Recorded live at Red Rocks in Morrison, CO on 9/7/17

released August 7th, 2020

The Band:
Jason Isbell – Vocals, Guitar
Amanda Shires – Fiddle, Vocals
Jimbo Hart – Bass, Vocals
Sadler Vaden – Guitar, Vocals
Chad Gamble – Drums, Vocals
Derry deBorja – Keys, Vocals

The Nashville Sound may have been Jason Isbell’s return to making 400 Unit albums (though the members did play on Southeastern and Something More Than Free), but Reunions captures the energy of the band’s live show in ways its predecessor didn’t. Reunions is populated with fiery, show-stealing guitar solos, explosive hard rock choruses, and moments where all the musicians sound like they’re feeding off of each other at once in a way that nears jam band territory. There’s still as much Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen on Reunions as there was on the last album, Reunions is full of stuff that would sound wildly out of fashion in a lesser songwriter’s hands, but Jason Isbell makes this music sound entirely relevant. He takes notes from the classic rock canon, but not in a way that comes off as reactionary to modern music. He makes familiar sounds feel fresh, he fills a void you might not’ve realized was there, and his subject matter resonates so much right now that these songs never feel like they’re from any time but the present.

This is a fantastic performance. Loved watching it, and now get to listen anywhere, anytime! Can’t wait until touring starts again!

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Recorded live at Brooklyn Bowl Nashville on May 15th, 2020 to celebrate the release of ‘Reunions.’
Jason Isbell – Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Amanda Shires – Fiddle, Vocals
Released June 19th, 2020

I’ve always been interested in hearing Jason’s original demo version of “Maybe It’s Time”. In 2018, Jason Isbell contributed the song “Maybe It’s Time” to the soundtrack of A Star Is Born, where it was performed by Bradley Cooper. The song earned Cooper his first solo Billboard chart placement and was later covered by Eddie Vedder. Now, Isbell has shared his own demo of the track. It’s out on Bandcamp today, along with an unreleased song called “Alabama Sky.” Listen below.

Back in May, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit released the new album “Reunions”.

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Jason Isbell – Vocals, Acoustic Guitar

“Maybe It’s Time (Demo)” was recorded by Dave Cobb RCA Studio A

“Alabama Sky” was recorded by Gena Johnson

released July 3rd, 2020

Setlist and Full Show Video: Jason Isbell Performs Entire ‘Reunions’ LP with Amanda Shires at Crowdless Brooklyn Bowl Nashville

Jason Isbell has not let the COVID-19 outbreak get in the way of celebrating his brand new album “Reunions”. Subbing in his creative collaborator and wife Amanda Shires for his 400 Unit band, Isbell performed the entirety of Reunions at the Brooklyn Bowl Nashville on Friday night, marking the live debut of almost every track as well as the first-ever live performance at the nascent venue.

Isbell and Shires enlisted FANS.com to help virtually populate the almost-empty room, as hundreds of fans tuned in via Zoom sending applause and messages to the duo,“Hey everybody I see y’all,” Isbell said waving to a screen filled with fans tuning in “…This crowd is ready.” “When people put new music out during this time it brings so much good to my life on the daily,” Shires added later in the performance, turning to Isbell. “And I know we could use more records. So I’m glad yours is out now.”

In addition to the slew of new music, Isbell used his encore to cover Warren Zevon’s “Mutineer” and look back at his own “Cover Me Up” from 2013’s Southeastern.

Jason Isbell & Amanda Shires
May 15th, 2020
Brooklyn Bowl, Nashville –  Crowdless Performance Broadcast Live by FANS.com

Setlist :
What’ve I Done to Help*, Dreamsicle*, Only Children*, Overseas, Running with Our Eyes Closed*, River*, Be Afraid, St. Peter’s Autograph*, It Gets Easier*, Letting You Go*
Enc: Mutineer^, Cover Me Up

Jason Isbell Variety Magazine Feature

Can someone learn from their past without being beleaguered by it? Is change something measured in footsteps, days sober, or something less tangible? These are all questions that Jason Isbell poses, and some of which he answers, on his latest album with The 400 Unit, “Reunions”.

The Nashville-based, Alabama-native singer-songwriter has traced a long and storied path to get to this, his seventh studio record and fourth alongside The Unit. From cutting his teeth with Drive-By Truckers in the late 2000s, to his departure from that group, hitting rock bottom, and finding salvation on 2013’s Southeastern, Isbell has seen quite a bit. One of the things that made him such an attractive songwriter was his ability to bring listeners in on that arc of rise, fall, and redemption. Now, with the release of Reunions, he begins to tell a new story.

Reunions, featuring 10 new songs, is a grab bag of material from Isbell. Some of it is the tried-and-true storytelling of his turbulent past, while some looks to his bright present of family life and critical acclaim, and still more look to realities completely bereft of Isbell himself. Reunions marks the evolution of an artist uncomplacent with doing what’s easy and restless enough to risk making some mistakes.

The album’s opening track, “What’ve I Done to Help”, finds Isbell still wrestling with his past and the resulting life it has created. While this isn’t the down-and-out Isbell to which audiences are privy, this is a much more cogent singer who acknowledges that all of these long-standing problems won’t go away just because “I kept my head down and showed up to work on time.”

Then, take a song like “Dreamsicle”, which again looks to the past but goes back a little further. From a turbulent childhood filled with cross country moves and frequent goodbyes to friends, “Dreamsicle” lays the emotional groundwork for songs closer to Isbell’s present self. With lines like, “I’ll be 18 four years from now/ with different friends in a different town/ I’ll finally be free,” Isbell offers a tender glimpse into a troubled childhood paramount to his adult formation.

Obviously, the lyrics are the focal point of Isbell’s music, but Reunions sets itself apart musically as well as lyrically. Take a song like “Overseas”, for example, with an opening guitar solo that comes roaring in like it’s a Tom Petty track. Isbell even poked fun at his musical maturation on Twitter the day the album was released, revealing that he wrote and recorded all of Reunions without using a capo. “How’s that for a folksinger and songwriter?” he asked.

Then, on Reunions, there’s a mysterious song-writing element that ties itself to Isbell as well as non-literal characters. “River” focuses on a protagonist who finds his saviour in the form of a river. The river tends to Isbell, hears his secrets, “wash my head when I’ve been sinning/wash my knuckles when they bleed.” As our character is saved by the dutiful protection of the river, the final stanza ends with the line, “and last night I woke up screaming at my wife.” This is immediately proceeded by a fiddle run from none other than Amanda Shires, Isbell’s wife.

This is not the lone reference to Isbell’s better half, for the song “St. Peter’s Autograph” is about Shires grieving over the passing of friend Neal Casal. Isbell said of the song in a recent New York Times profile, “I was trying to say, ‘It’s all right to grieve the parts of your relationship you might think I’d be upset or jealous about.’”

The role that Isbell and Shires’ domestic life plays in Reunions is unavoidable and unmistakable. It also represents the side of Isbell that looks optimistically toward the future, with a wife and a child, rather than constantly back at his destructive past. While Jason Isbell is not ready to give up that past just yet, Reunions shows the progress of a man who has learned from his mistakes, but is not defined by them.