Jason Isbell has been one of the best songwriters around for awhile now, so it's been great to watch his newest record, the excellent Southeastern, garnering such universally high praise. It's about time y'all caught up. Check out this performance of the absolutely heart-wrenching album cut "Elephant" Isbell did last month for SiriusXM's Outlaw Country show below:
Isbell has always written very personal songs taken from his life on the road, and the toll that the life of a traveling troubadour takes on one's personal relationships. Not the least of these was Isbell's divorce from Shonna Tucker, with whom he was a member of Athens, GA band The Drive-By Truckers. Like all great writers, Isbell took to the page in the wake of losing his band and his wife... but also like most writers, he took to the bottle. And the pills... and the powder... and anything else you might be holding.
Isbell kicked all that stuff a few years ago, and that experience provides a lot of the deeply personal material on Southeastern. The fact that all of Isbell's personal strife was expressed on the record makes "Elephant" all the more affecting, as it might be the most jarringly heartbreaking number on an album full of them. Here's to Jason, for being able to right his ship where so many others of his ilk could not, hopefully we have several more excellent records to look forward to.
Check out some tour dates below, and for all things Jason Isbell, head over to his website. Also check out Isbell and his band The 400 Unit performing The Drive-By Truckers classic "Danko/Manuel" after the tour dates.
Jason Isbell tour dates:
Appearing at "Floydfest"
Fri 07/26/13 Floyd, VA Blue Cow Pavilion
Appearing at "Newport Folk Festival"
Sat 07/27/13 Newport, RI Fort Adams State Park
Mon 07/29/13 Cambridge, MA The Sinclair
Tue 07/30/13 Portland, ME Port City Music Hall
Thu 08/01/13 Buffalo, NY The Waiting Room
Fri 08/02/13 Toronto, ON Lee's Palace
Appearing at "Belgium Comes To Cooperstown"
Sat 08/03/13 Cooperstown, NY Brewery Ommegang
Sun 08/04/13 Hartford, CT Arch Street Tavern
Tue 08/06/13 Atlanta, GA Chameleon Club
Wed 08/07/13 Philadelphia, PA World Cafe Live
Fri 08/09/13 Wilkes-Barre, PA F.M. Kirby Center For Perf. Arts
Appearing with Nick Lowe
Sat 08/10/13 New York, NY Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center Plaza
Sun 08/11/13 Baltimore, MD Baltimore Soundstage
Sat 08/17/13 Nashville, TN Ryman Auditorium
Thu 08/22/13 Lexington, KY Buster's
Appearing at "Whispering Beard Folk Festival"
Fri 08/23/13 Friendship, IN Whispering Beard Folk Festival Grounds
Appearing at "Music In The Mountains" (Big Sky, MT)
Sat 09/07/13 Big Sky, MT Town Center Park
Sat 09/14/13 Santa Barbara, CA Marjorie Luke Theatre
Appearing at "Best Of The Bayou"
Sun 09/29/13 Houma, LA Downtown Houma
Appearing with Dawes
Tue 10/22/13 Memphis, TN Minglewood Hall
Wed 10/23/13 Little Rock, AR Revolution Music Room