For Jason Isbell's Saturday night show at WinStar World Casino, the ups and downs one might experience during a white-knuckled hour of gambling were there. In this May 19, photo, American singer-songwriter Jason Isbell poses for a portrait in promotion of his upcoming solo album 'Something More Than Free. On nights like Isbell's, however, an awkward dance takes place between artist, audience and venue. You want to move; you want to pump your fist or wave the metal-approved devil horn hands in appreciation.
I remember watching him in May ofchugging from a bottle of Jack Daniels on stage. The album is full of themes such as redemption, sobriety, love, death, and vivid storytelling.
Intriguing, heart-breaking, and beautiful are words that come to mind when thinking about this album. His acoustic songs are not just story snippets, they are full-on short stories with cutting details and devastating hooks.
The rockers are not only catchy but meaningful. For SoutheasternIsbell has kicked out the band and sat down at the desk or wherever to write the tunes. The lyrics have the care of an author. The songs are less focused on hooks and more growers.
The stories are fully formed and affecting. Lyrics that make you come back and try to figure it out.
You can tell the song is affecting but you have to go back and tease it apart.
He even went into the studio without his band The Unit. There is a personal introspective context to these songs. Struggle and brokenness are common themes on the album. Southeastern may be more understated than his prior releases, but Isbell still uses the same characters and allegories that define his songwriting.
There are the same broken dreams, dark imagery, and course reality to which longtime fans are accustomed. The latter song has even given me a new life goal, which is to have my life end somewhere other than a Super 8 Motel.
Adding Southeastern to his own catalogue plus the songs he wrote in his Drive By Trucker days, it is clear that Jason Isbell has established himself as one of the premier songwriters in the contemporary music scene. Blessed with three top tier songwriters, the early years with Isbell found the band bursting at the seams creatively.
To put it simply, Isbell cut straight to the bone. When he left the band in and went solo, the ceiling seemed endless. Southeastern is damn near impeccable. It feels warm and minimalistic, not an instrument or vocal out of place.
Unlike past records, Southeastern feels confident and unhurried ironic since the record was a rush job before his recent marriage to fellow musician Amanda Shires. Isbell or his new found sobriety thanks againIsbell owns it on this one.
Southeastern is the sound of an artist hitting stride.
What is wonderful about Southeastern is seeing all these early threads come together in a cohesive and compelling song collection. This is an album of emotional exploration: While not necessarily the most uplifting set of topics, Isbell tackles them all with remarkable depth and deftness.
The results are striking. But even that is deceiving — the song chronicles a guy who nearly dies from too much drinking and raising hell.Unlike alcoholics who live outside of the public eye, however, Isbell also faced the skepticism of fans, many of whom wondered if a totally sober Isbell might lose his edge, lyrically and on-stage.
Lyrics to 'Cover Me Up' by Jason Isbell. A heart on the run / Keeps a hand on the gun / You can’t trust anyone / I was so sure / What I needed was more / Tried to shoot out the sun /.
Lyrics of LIVE OAK by Jason Isbell: Well I carved her cross from live oak and her box from short-leaf pine, And buried her so deep she'd touch the water. On August 19, , Jason Isbell and his band The Unit, stepped out onto the stage in front of a live audience in Austin, TX to film his first appearance on the longest running original music series in the U.S., Austin City Limits.
Live Oak by Jason Isbell: Listen to songs by Jason Isbell on Myspace, a place where people come to connect, discover, and share. Live Oak by Jason Isbell: Listen to songs by Jason Isbell on Myspace, a place where people come to connect, discover, and share.
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