Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit – Live in Concert
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit – Live in Concert
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Peabody Opera House
St. Louis, MO
Tuesday, October 10, 2017 – SOLD OUT
Wednesday, October 11, 2017 – SOLD OUT
Friday, October 13, 2017 – SOLD OUT
Saturday, October 14, 2017 – SOLD OUT
Sunday, October 15, 2017 – SOLD OUT
Hear Jason Isbell’s rollicking new song, ‘Hope the High Road’ Listen here.
Jason Isbell To Release The Nashville Sound This Summer. Read more here.
TWO TIME GRAMMY AWARD WINNER JASON ISBELL AND THE 400 UNIT TO RELEASE THE NASHVILLE SOUND ON SOUTHEASTERN RECORDS JUNE 16th
“With his honeysuckle drawl and unrivaled knack for lyrical detail, Jason Isbell is arguably the most revered roots-rock singer-songwriter
of his generation.” – Rolling Stone
Nashville, TN – Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, guitarist Jason Isbell and his mighty band, The 400 Unit, have announced the June 16th release of the highly anticipated new album, The Nashville Sound (Southeastern Records/Thirty Tigers). The Nashville Sound is the follow up to 2015’s critically acclaimed Something More Than Free, which won two Grammy Awards (Best Americana Album & Best American Roots Song, “24 Frames”) and two Americana Music Association Awards (Album of the Year & Song of The Year, “24 Frames”) See Highlights.
Without exaggeration, Jason Isbell has become one the most respected and celebrated songwriters of his generation. He possesses an incredible penchant for identifying and articulating some of the deepest, yet simplest, human emotions, and turning them into beautiful poetry through song. “There’s no better songwriter on the planet at this moment, no one operating with the same depth, eloquence or feeling,” says American Songwriter Magazine. Isbell sings of the every day human condition with thoughtful, heartfelt, and sometimes brutal honesty, and the new album is no exception.
The Nashville Sound features 10 new songs that address a range of real life subject matters that include, politics and cultural privilege (“White Man’s World”) longing nostalgia (“The Last Of My Kind”), love and mortality (“If We Were Vampires”), the toxic effect of today’s pressures (“Anxiety”), the remnants of a break up (“Chaos and Clothes”) and finding hope (“Something To Love”). Songs such as “Cumberland Gap” and “Hope The Highroad” find Isbell and his bandmates going back to their rock roots full force.
The Nashville Sound was recorded at Nashville’s legendary RCA Studio A and produced by Grammy Award-winner Dave Cobb, who produced Something More Than Free and Isbell’s celebrated 2013 breakthrough album Southeastern. The Nashville Sound is the first official Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit album since 2011’s Here We Rest. The 400 Unit features Derry deBorja (keyboards), Chad Gamble (drums), Jimbo Hart (bass), Amanda Shires (fiddle) and Sadler Vaden (guitar). The group just announced a five-night stand at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium October 10,11,13-15 to add to their extensive tour.
Jason Isbell’s music speaks to so many who often feel as though his songs were written specifically for them. Isbell’s lyrics and sincere delivery cut to the core and make genuine, lasting connections. The Nashville Sound helps to remind us how music continues to unite and connect us all. It is a comforting thought at time when understanding, compassion and honesty seem to be an afterthought.
JASON ISBELL ANNOUNCES SUMMER 2017 TOUR DATES WITH HIS STELLAR BAND, THE 400 UNIT
WILL PERFORM AT PEABODY OPERA HOUSE ON JULY 12
“…one of America’s thoroughbred songwriters, with a knack for rueful melodies
and the kind of grainy blue-collar detail that pins a song in your mind.”
-New York Times Magazine
Nashville, TN –Two-time Grammy winner Jason Isbell has announced tour dates in Summer 2017 with his band, The 400 Unit. The mighty 400 Unit is: Derry deBorja (keyboards), Chad Gamble (drums), Jimbo Hart (bass) and Sadler Vaden (guitar).
Jason and the 400 Unit are putting the final touches on their highly anticipated follow up to 2015’s Something More Than Free. The new album was recorded at the legendary RCA Studio A in Nashville with Grammy Award-winner Dave Cobb returning as producer. Cobb produced Something More Than Free, which won the Grammy Award for ‘Best Americana Album’, and includes the song “24 Frames”, the Grammy winner for ‘Best American Roots Song’. The new, yet-to-be-titled collection will officially be the first Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit album since 2011’s critically acclaimed Here We Rest.
Most recently, Jason won ‘Album Of The Year’ for Something More Than Free and ‘Song Of The Year’ for “24 Frames” at the 2016 Americana Music Awards, held on September 21 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.
Stay tuned for more appearances and announcements by following Jason on Twitter @jasonisbell or visiting jasonisbell.com
Every once in a while, and not that often, a popular musician comes along whose work is both profoundly personal and evocative of the larger moment, merging the specifics of lived experience in a particular time and place to the realities of our shared journey as a community, a people. The work of such artists as Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, and Kurt Cobain – and now Jason Isbell, I would argue, with his new album Something More Than Free – spreads irresistibly outward from the soul, that private well of vision and emotion, into the broader realm of cultural history, sharpening our ability to see, expanding our ability to feel, and restoring our sense that we belong not only to ourselves but to an extended spiritual family. The songs create a space to be together, and closer together than we were before.
To fans and the music press, the personal story surrounding Isbell’s last, breakthrough album, Southeastern, is widely known and easily reprised. A troubled young troubadour, newly married, stepped away from the darkness of addiction into a new, uncertain life of clarity and commitment, reflecting ruefully on his hard won victories and the price he paid attaining them. It was an album of aching elegance, marked by the sort of lyrical precision that brought to mind certain literary masters of the melancholy American scene, from Flannery O’Connor to Raymond Carver. By avoiding the hairychested bombast of arena country music while crafting music with solid melodic contours Isbell created an album, and a sound, of memorably infectious empathy.
With Something More Than Free, he stretches himself further, greatly expanding the boundaries of Isbell country, that territory of the heart and mind where people strive against their imperfections, and simultaneously against their circumstances, in a landscape that’s often unfriendly to their hopes. As always, he starts with the subjects he knows best: the dignity of work, the difficulty of love, the friction between the present and the past. “I found myself going back,” he says, explaining the direction he chose to take, “to family and close personal relations.” The opening cut, “It Takes a Lifetime”, so loose and summery and optimistic, invites us into this circle of kindred souls, instantly making us feel at home. And while Isbell may be singing about himself or someone else who’s inner life he’s privy to when he mentions fighting ‘the urge to live inside my telephone,’ isn’t that everyone’s challenge nowadays?
Once you’ve cleaned up your act, what should your next action be, and your next? That’s one of the questions handled in “24 Frames”, the album’s bracing second cut, whose narrator seems to be managing life deliberately, step by step, with peril all around. “You thought God was an architect. Now you know/ He’s something like a pipe bomb ready to blow.” The danger of self-destruction is always near, and the way to defeat it seems to be putting self-seeking and vanity aside and taking the next right action, however simple. “After you’ve looked your fears in the eye,” Isbell tells me on the phone, “What’s important now?” Maybe he knows and maybe he’s still learning – this isn’t an album of easy certainties – but what makes his songwriting so rich and gripping, besides its observational precision, is the honesty of his inquiries. He doesn’t flinch. He doesn’t cheat.
The album – and it is an album, a unified musical document, not a grab bag of would-be singles (“I don’t write songs to be played at sporting events,” Isbell cracks) – relaxes and deepens as it goes along, offering some of the pleasures of a fine novel, including a collection of sharp vignettes that stick in the mind, impossible to shake. “Flagship”, a spare and haunting meditation on the fragility of long-term love, ranges around a faded, old hotel for images of passion that has cooled. “The lights down in the lobby, they don’t shine/ They just flicker while the elevator whines.” “Children of Children”, a masterful creation that floods the ears with bold and rolling soundscapes reminiscent of CSNY, finds the singer examining old family photos and dwelling on his own unwitting influence on his mother’s interrupted youth. “I was riding on my mother’s hip/she was shorter than the corn. And all the years you took from her/just by being born.” That last line is as devastating as they come, a thought that, once voiced, can’t be forgotten – and that we’re surprised wasn’t voiced before. Isbell’s songwriting is like that, at its most poetic when it’s most plainspoken. His lines and his lyrics fall into place like the tumblers of a lock.
The title track, which he tells me on the phone was inspired by his father — a hard-working man who won’t let up — is more than a tribute to a beloved parent; it speaks to the outlook of a generation that has seen, in Isbell’s words, “The American dream go from the light at the end of a tunnel to all tunnel.” As usual, Isbell travels outward from the specific case to a more comprehensive human perspective. “I start with an individual, he says, “and then I try to write for everybody.” The song nails its subject from the moment it begins. “When I get home from work, I’ll call up all my friends/ and we’ll bust up something beautiful we’ll have to build again.” The man in question, a born provider who finds himself on Sunday “too tired to go to church,” is politically conscious of his situation (“The hammer needs the nail, and the poor man’s up for sale”) but grateful for what he’s able to bring home. In this, he’s like Isbell, who told me that in his writing he tries “to be angry without being bitter and emotional without being maudlin.” He probably doesn’t have to try too hard. For all the darkness that leaks into his songs (only because it exists out in the world) Isbell’s fundamental orientation is still toward the light, even when it’s fast receding. His humanity has an almost uncanny feel, as though he’s lived three lives for everybody else’s one. He believes in the basic power of his vocation as a writer, singer, player, and artist to conjure wholeness from a world of fragments. He’s the musician we need now, and whom we’ve waited for: candid, vulnerable, outraged, literate, and just romantic enough to carry on in a period of rising disenchantment. His time has come, and so has ours. Listening to Isbell we also hear ourselves.
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