Daily Archives: May 24, 2015

On This Memorial Day, Let Us Celebrate Something More Than Free, The New Record By Jason Isbell

Post #900!!! Dedicated to the lovely memory of Anne Meara, who showed me how people with fame and talent should and must behave.


First, let me say this… Thank you to all of those who came before us… who gave their lives for freedom and democracy. Thank you to all who sacrificed so that we could enjoy living in the greatest country in the world. While it sometimes gets tarnished, it is up to us to keep America shining… to keep her light bright and as a true and powerful beacon for the rest of the world.

So let us celebrate… let us grill… let us crank up some great music… and let us always remember.

Jason Isbell spent six years in one of my favorite bands, Drive-By Truckers, and left them in 2007 for a solo singer/songwriter career… His debut was Sirens Of The Ditch, a record I need to spend time with as I jumped in after that. He quickly found success with his killer backing band The 400 Unit, releasing a self-titled record with them in 2009, Here We Rest came out in 2011 and the stunning and revelatory Live From Alabama in 2012, which includes some of my favorite DBT tunes.

In 2013 he released the amazing record Southeastern, which according to AllMusic was about embracing “his newfound sobriety,” and was “an album of haunting atonement and redemption.” I love that record… and this new one just continues that path for me, and certainly solidifies my admiration for Jason Isbell.

Jason Isbell's latest album, Southeastern, is personal and intimate.

Jason Isbell – Something More Than Free

The record comes out on July 17… Sorry, I thought it was tomorrow… My bad. But now you REALLY have something to look forward to!

I cannot wait to see him live, and clearly this recent review in the Village Voice is a great indication of the kind of night it will be. So let’s all go! And boy, if anyone is in the mood for a music cruise, filled with some of the best singer/songwriters EVER, check out the Cayamo… Dang!

He has definitely moved away from the Lynyrd Skynyrd roots that so influenced DBT, but elements of Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne and other classic singer/songwriters are very present.

The bright “If It Takes A Lifetime” opens this record and so reminds me of Steve Goodman’s “Souvenirs” with a hint of Pete Seeger.

“24 Frames” was the first single I heard… Thanks, KCSN!!! And it had me immediately smitten… and not just because of the hints of Bruce!!!

“How To Forget” is another favorite tune, and lyrically hits home. It’s amazing how we find songs… or they find us… just when we need them most.

“Teach me how to forget
I ain’t sorry just yet
Teach me to how to unlearn a lesson.”

It is followed up by the lush “Children Of Children”, which definitely has elements of C,S,N and Y

“When you were riding on your Mother’s hip
She was shorter than the corn.
All the years you took from her
Just by being born.”

Profound shit! And I love the strings on this one…

By the time the chorus of “Hudson Commodore” kicks, I can hear the Eagles… and in fact, his voice is almost a combo of Don Henley and Glenn Frey, at least on this one. Those influences keep explaining why I love Jason and this record so much, but this is most definitely his own record. He takes what was before and makes it something unique and special.

“To A Band That I Loved” closes this wonderful set out and is the perfect end to an almost perfect album.

For those who don’t know Jason Isbell or Drive-By Truckers, go out and explore and listen. It’s bands and artists like this who give me hope in the future of music… and we all need hope.



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Filed under Live Music Reviews, Marc's Mixed Bag - A Little Of Everything, Marc's Playlist - Music That Moves Me