Jason Isbell Forum

    • This is a little long but too good to pass up. It's an excerpt from a pastor's appreciation of Jason's songs.

      The Music of Jason Isbell and the Myth of the Simple Story

      thegospelcoalition.org/article…-myth-of-the-simple-story
      . . .

      Isbell’s suffering has produced an awareness with the full range of complexities common to the human experience—insight he shares with both humility and humor. As with Flannery O’Connor and Ernest Hemingway, Isbell brings a certain darkness to his work that helps us see the light—a sinking sorrow that makes true joy buoyant. Song after song, Isbell offers details to help us see the layers and textures of complicated things we might otherwise regard as simple.

      Though his work is certainly autobiographical (whose isn’t?), he is neither the hero nor the villain of his songs. His records are full of stories—parables with characters and richly orienting details like you find in Bruce Springsteen’s Ghost of Tom Joad. His characters are like us, and like the people we all know. Some are refined, some are rough. Some use salty language while others pray for decency. Some are young and invincible and others are dying of cancer. Some drink too much, take drugs, and pretend it won’t catch up to them. As a result, some get beat up and some overdose. And the people who loved them weep.

      This is the world I know as a pastor. I’ve been down in the trenches with people whose lives were in the process of falling apart. I’ve taken calls where hollow, grieving voices on the other end of the line tell me they lost a loved one to drugs, or that they have cancer, or that they just lost their job, or their marriage.

      The people who waltz in and out of Isbell’s songs are beautiful and grotesque at the same time. But Isbell uses them do the heavy lifting of the truth-telling. They sow and they reap. They laugh and they grieve. They try to be carefree and self-indulgent but end up reflective and repentant. They flirt with the shadows and end up lost. They’re sought by love and found.

      But none of it is simple—and that, I find helpful. We don’t help each other when we ignore the pain or dismiss the grit and gurgle of affliction, addiction, self-centeredness, and secret destructive appetites. Isbell has a gift for unfolding these sorts of stories with accessibility and detail that make us want to lean in to hurting people with compassion and humility.

      And that, I find honest, because no one has a simple story. . . .

      The post was edited 2 times, last by ned ().

    • Wim wrote:

      Good Rolling Stone piece on Jason's podcast with Foo Fighters guitarist Chris Shiflet, and a link to the podcast.

      Jason Isbell's Interview With Foos Guitarist: 5 Things We Learned

      It's just over a year since SMTF. Starting to hear low level talk about a new album. Also, Jason lost his phone on his new farm last week and was worried about the new songs he had on it. Found it, fortunately. He had about two years between Southeastern and SMFT but one can always hope.
      Talk to the Danielle fans about that. I'm sure they would have some good pointers. :lol
    • Spurrious wrote:

      Wim wrote:

      Good Rolling Stone piece on Jason's podcast with Foo Fighters guitarist Chris Shiflet, and a link to the podcast.

      Jason Isbell's Interview With Foos Guitarist: 5 Things We Learned

      It's just over a year since SMTF. Starting to hear low level talk about a new album. Also, Jason lost his phone on his new farm last week and was worried about the new songs he had on it. Found it, fortunately. He had about two years between Southeastern and SMFT but one can always hope.
      Talk to the Danielle fans about that. I'm sure they would have some good pointers. :lol
      No kidding. Jason won't have any problems with his label though. It's just his songwriter who's holding things up. :)
    • Next summer is a fair guess. I wouldn't be surprised at a late winter/early spring release though. He's so engaged in playing and talking about music now I could see his not wanting to wait as long this time, and his comment about the lost songs reminded of some of the hints before SMTF, but who knows?

      I hear you on co-writes but I don't think Jason will ever do it. In interviews, he says he doesn't collaborate. Even his DBT songs were him alone. He's a throwback.
    • Loved this bit from RS's piece on the Shiflett podcast. This was point one of the five things RS learned. Willie. :D

      1. Jason Isbell and Willie Nelson have similar taste in women.

      A lifelong fan of country music, Isbell has opened a string of shows for Willie Nelson since the 2013 release of Southeastern. During one of their earliest shows together, the younger songwriter watched Nelson introduce himself to Isbell's wife — songwriter Amanda Shires, who was wrapping up her own solo tour at the time — in a rather unconventional way.

      "Amanda had just shown up right before our set," Isbell remembers, "so [she and Nelson] had not met or anything. We were onstage, and we were playing with Alison Krauss and Jerry Douglas and her band. They were up there with us and we were all playing together. Willie walks over to my wife, Amanda, and takes his headband off and puts it on her head, and kisses her right on the mouth! He'd never met her or anything."

      Isbell took the unexpected show of affection in stride. When a worried Shires asked if he was mad, he responded with, "Honey, first of all, it's Willie Nelson. Second of all, he could probably whip my ass. He's, like, a fourth-degree black belt. And somebody who smokes that much weed, you never know what they're gonna do in a fight. They could come up with some weird shit."
    • Jason and Ryan Adams played back to back in SanFrancisco this weekend and appeared in each other's set. Here are Sway by the Rolling Stones during Jason's set and My Sweet Carolina during Ryan's set (third song in, about 7:20). These two are good friends. You might recall that Jason credits Amanda and Ryan for getting him to rehab. Ryan then took Jason with him on a solo, acoustic tour of Australia, the first time Jason played sober in many years, he says.

      Sway


      My Sweet Carolina


      Rolling Stone ran a good piece.
      rollingstone.com/country/news/…avy-cover-of-sway-w433296