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Rock - Released May 15, 2020 | Southeastern Records

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Reunions arrives a month after the death of John Prine — a mentor of Jason Isbell, who does his memory proud. You hear inspiration in the smart, heartfelt lyrics, some of the best of Isbell's Americana career. The wistful "Dreamsicle" evokes how divorce colors childhood ("new sneakers on the high school court and you swore you'd be there"), and Isbell has said he's particularly proud of "Running With Our Eyes Closed": "It took forever to get you to trust me/Like I was feeding a bird from my hand." And while Isbell's voice is singular — the way his Alabama accent shapes the vowels of "demo tape" on "Only Children" is pure Southern Comfort — there are touchstones both obvious (the noir, Mark Knopfler-like guitar on the terrific "Overseas") and surprising: a Killers echo on "What've I Done to Help" and "It Gets Easier," about the realities of sobriety. Amanda Shires (Isbell’s wife) again lends fiddle and harmony. With its appealing '80s college rock vibe, "Be Afraid" sounds lifted from her great album To The Sunset; it’s one of the most fun inspired takes on an album full of them. © Shelly Ridenour/Qobuz
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Rock - Released June 16, 2017 | Southeastern Records

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Alongside Chris Stapleton and Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell is part of that generation of songwriters who are raising the bar for country music today. Theirs is a country music that tends towards Americana, that rattle-bag music genre that mixes country, rock'n'roll, blues and folk. This is what makes the former member of the Drive-By Truckers a worthy heir to the outlaws of the 1970s (Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Tompall Glaser, etc.) but also to people like Bob Dylan (his idol, the lyrics to whose Boots of Spanish Leather are tattooed on his arm) Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Bruce Springsteen or Ryan Adams. With The Nashville Sound, the southerner from Alabama hardly changes his tune in terms of substance, but really gets worked up around the form. With his up tempo numbers, this record is more rock than the two that came before. Like for his cinematic 2015 album Something More Than Free, his group 400 Unit is on hand, only this time Isbell notes it on the liner: surely a signal of their importance, or a way of copying the Boss, whocredits the E-Street Band on some of his albums... Produced by the ubiquitous Dave Coob,  The Nashville Sound brings together some of the artist's best songs. Through his histories of small people (Cumberland Gap), of fixes, fights and the life of outsiders, and even politics (Hope the High Road), Jason Isbell shows that he is on top of his game. And this time, even more so. Much more… © MZ/Qobuz
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Rock - Released April 12, 2011 | Southeastern Records

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Rock - Released February 17, 2009 | Southeastern Records

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During his time with the Drive-By Truckers, Jason Isbell always sported the least grizzled voice of the bunch, a surprisingly radio-ready baritone that sounded smoother than Patterson Hood's sandpaper croon and more streamlined than Mike Cooley's twang. That voice carries more weight in Isbell's solo material, where melody and lyrics are emphasized over the swaggering guitar riffs of his previous group. Credited to Isbell and his new backing band, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit finds the songwriter reprising the same formula showcased on 2007's Sirens of the Ditch: a mix of Southern rock and rootsy, melancholic country-soul that manages to both elevate and commiserate during its 52 minutes. The result may be fairly similar to Sirens' sound, but 400 Unit marks Isbell's final move away from the Truckers, whose influence permeated Sirens in its production (helmed by Patterson Hood) and host of backing musicians (including Shonna Tucker, DBT's bassist and Isbell's former wife). Here, Isbell and his four bandmates close the studio doors to outside help, allowing several horn players to make a cameo on "No Choice in the Matter" but essentially playing everything else themselves. The result is a smart and tasteful record that sees Isbell training his songwriting eye on subjects of wartime romance, memory, and dead-end small towns. There are rock songs here -- including "Soldiers Get Strange" and "Good," both of which seem to take more influence from Tom Petty than Lynyrd Skynyrd -- but Isbell sounds most comfortable with the midtempo numbers, from the subdued shuffle of "Sunburn" (sample lyric: "I never meant to get bored with you but I never meant to stay") to the instrumental strains of "Coda." "I saw her in Roosevelt Springs, where time doesn't touch anything," he sings in "Cigarettes and Wine," a seven-minute homage to a bartender who takes in downtrodden men and selflessly suffers their despondence. Just barely out of his twenties, he writes with the well-worn weariness of someone twice his age, but Isbell's youth nevertheless breathes energy into a formula that's been revisited by many Southern-born songwriters before. © Andrew Leahey /TiVo
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Country - Released October 19, 2018 | Southeastern Records

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Since Jason Isbell left the Drive-By Truckers in 2007, he and his backing band the 400 Unit have released a live EP (2008's Live at Twist and Shout), a full-length live album (2012's Live from Alabama), a concert video (2014's Jason Isbell: Live at Austin City Limits), and a limited-edition live in the studio EP dominated by covers (2017's Live from Welcome to 1979, a Record Store Day release). So is there really any compelling reason for Isbell to give us yet another live recording? One listen to 2018's Live from the Ryman, recorded during a six-night run of shows at Nashville's legendary Ryman Auditorium, does bring one good reason to mind -- Isbell and his band are an unusually good live act, and what they do communicates very well after the fact. Unlike Live from Alabama, Live from the Ryman was recorded in the wake of Isbell's breakthrough with 2013's Southeastern, and the set list was drawn from that album and its two follow-ups, 2015's Something More Than Free and 2017's The Nashville Sound. While Isbell and the 400 Unit have always delivered on-stage, the focus and insight that Isbell brought to these songs makes for a powerful listening experience, and the emotional honesty and introspection fuels performances that find him baring his soul, avoiding histrionics but making clear these stories come from deep inside his heart and conscience. And Isbell's band is stellar on these recordings, filling out the arrangements with dexterity and nuance. The 400 Unit know how to find the fine details in quieter numbers like "Flagship" and "Elephant," they can come out with potent hard rock on numbers such as "Hope the High Road" and "Cumberland Gap," and the high-spirited stomp of "Super 8" makes it that rare cautionary tale that's as fun as it is ominous. Live from the Ryman doesn't change what you already know about Jason Isbell as a writer or a performer, but as a document of his many strengths, it's powerful and thoroughly entertaining, and is one more reminder that he's as smart and gifted as any songwriter at work today -- and he can work the crowd like nobody's business. © Mark Deming /TiVo
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Rock - Released April 24, 2020 | Southeastern Records

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Rock - Released March 27, 2020 | Southeastern Records

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Rock - Released February 10, 2020 | Southeastern Records

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Rock - Released March 6, 2020 | Southeastern Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 12, 2018 | Southeastern Records

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Rock - Released October 5, 2018 | Southeastern Records

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Rock - Released September 14, 2018 | Southeastern Records

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Rock - Released August 3, 2018 | Southeastern Records

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Rock - Released August 24, 2018 | Southeastern Records

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Rock - Released November 19, 2012 | Lightning Rod Records