Posts Tagged ‘Jason Isbell’

Free Music Alert: Jason Isbell – Brand New Stone (bonus track from Here We Rest)

For those lucky enough to have nabbed the deluxe vinyl version of Here We Rest, this song came as a bonus 7″ with the song “Everywhere With Helicopter” on the flipside (which can also be found on the recent Guided By Voices tribute). For the rest of us, we can thank Noisetrade and Jason for making it available for free.

A fine track indeed, download/stream here

Also for those who may not have heard this album, first off: WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOUR!, second off: Noisetrade also offers a tour sampler of Isbell and McMurtry from their recent tour (which was a mighty fine show I might add) | twitter | facebook

more stuff I dug in 2011: Jason Isbell, Hayes Carll, Todd Snider

This is the post where I talk about a few of the big/well known albums from last year that most of yall likely already know and love (2011 sure was a great year for our kind of music).

First up is Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit’s excellent album album Here We Rest.

What more is there to say about this album that hasn’t been said better by others? Just know it’s a damn good album and Isbell continues to grow by leaps and bounds with each album. I actually caught Jason and band twice last year, once that I already wrote about, and more recently in Roanoke, VA. Both shows were excellent but the band was certainly at the top of their game for the October show in Roanoke. Playing a double headliner bill with James McMurtry I must say that as good of a show as McMurtry puts on (and he puts on a hell of a show) Isbell and co. topped him. Enjoy the video below of Codeine from Here We Rest from said show, and also be sure to watch this blistering version of Try in which the band breaks into Led Zep’s No Quarter mid song also from said show. Dig that awesome cover art from former 400 Unit member Browan Lollar too.

Next let’s talk about Hayes Carll’s equally impressive album KMAG YOYO (and other american stories).

Again what is there to say about this album that hasn’t been said better elsewhere? It’s a great album and one you likely already own. My favorites off this include the subterranean homesick blues on meth sylings of the title track, the rousing Bottle In My Hand (featuring Todd Snider and Corb Lund), Stomp and Holler, Another Like You (featuring the lovely Cary Ann Hearst), Hard Out Here…hell every song is great. I’m especially fond of the video for Another Like You as seen below.

I actually caught Hayes last year in Nelsonville, OH and it was a damn fine show. The show was shortly after Bill Morrissey died and he did a touching tribute (Bill Morrissey wrote the song Live Free Or Die off Hayes’ first album). Sorry no video from that show, but enjoy this bonus video of KMAG YOYO acoustic

Now let’s talk about Todd Snider’s live Storyteller album/DVD from last year

I am particularly fond of the DVD, as it’s the only full Todd Snider performance DVD there is. However…as good as it is, I am going to be a little critical of it. Critical because the thing I love most about Todd Snider is his frantic energy, and it seems to be tamed down somewhat with this Storyteller set. As a fan it is essential, but I still prefer the massive Moondawg’s Tavern bootleg. That said, it’s not bad, it’s really cool to see/hear him with a backing band, especially one as skilled as Great American Taxi, I just don’t feel it captures his live energy as well as say Near Truths. Check out an example from the DVD below

Now listen to this version of Is This Thing Working (where he is damn near channeling Chuck D) from his March 5th show at the wonderful V-Club in Huntington, WV.

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Todd Snider – Is This Thing Working (Huntington, WV 3/5/11)

Talk about energy…the V-Club is a place where I’ve never seen a bad show, and Todd was feeding off the crowd and the crowd was feeding off him in a perfect performer-fan symbiotic relationship. I will actually be seeing Todd again next friday and I’ll let yall know how his new songs off “Agnostic Hymns” sound

Jason Isbell – Go It Alone (Vid)

Been really busy, have tons of stuff I need to post but for now enjoy this acoustic version of a killer song off Isbell’s upcoming album Here We Rest

Belated Show Reports: Scott H. Biram, Cedric Burnside, Todd Snider, The Fox Hunt/Demon Beat, Jason Isbell

I’m way behind on these and just thought I would do a quick blurb about each one:

Scott H. Biram @ Martin’s Downtown – Roanoke, VA 11/13/10
This show here had to be one of the best I’ve seen, and I’ve seen some killer shows recently. The one thing that struck me about Scott, talking with him before and after the show, was how genuinely happy he was to be there doing his thing. He was just having a blast doing what he does, and man let me tell what he does is something to behold. If you ever get a chance to see him live…DO IT! do not miss him when he comes to your area. Unless you hate yourself and hate good music and hate highly energetic performances. I would say the highlight of the show for me, was when he made his guitar do some crazy feedback, set the guitar on it’s stand, left the stage to go take a piss…guitar still blaring….returned, picked it up and started right into the next song. Bad. Ass.

No vids of the show (well I did take some crappy vids with my cell but you don’t want to see that, I still need to replace that infamous camera lost at the McMurtry show), but this vid I found online of him doing Muddy Water’s classic “Can’t Be Satisfied” is the closest approximation of what I experienced that night, when he did this song it blew me away…so good, check it out: (embedding seems to be effed, so click here)

Cedric Burnside & Lightnin’ Malcolm @ Awful Arthur’s – Roanoke, VA 12/4/10
(sorry, no picture for this one)
This was my second time seeing Cedric and Lightnin’, and my first time at Awful Arthur’s (who have amazing fried oysters I might add). There was a blizzard going on outside, and I drove to my buddies and after watching a few vids online and me telling him how good Cedric was, we climbed in his Jeep and made the 30 mile trek in the snow to Roanoke. It was worth it.

The opening act was a group of local blues jam types who played some by the numbers blues standards, this gave us time to chow down on some of those killer fried oysters and get a few drinks in our bellies. Then Cedric came up to do his solo acoustic set, this set was particularly powerful because he dedicated it to his Uncle who had just passed a few days prior. He poured all his grief into those acoustic songs. After that set Cedric switched to drums and Malcolm took the stage with his Telecaster. The proceeded to blow the roof off the joint. If you’ve never seen Cedric Burnside live you are missing out on seeing one of the greatest drummers of our time. And the music…this is not John Mayer blues…this is BLUES the way it was meant to be played, dirty and raw. The only downside of the night was after the show I lost my favorite coat at the nearby waffle house :(

Todd Snider @ Stuart’s Opera House – Nelsonville, OH 12/30/10
This was my first Todd Snider show, me and a buddy decided to road trip up to Nelsonville, Ohio and swing by Huntington, WV on the way back for New Years Eve. First let me say Stuart’s Opera House is a great great venue. Reminds me a lot of the Lincoln Theater in Marion, VA where they tape Song Of The Mountains, and the Nelsonville/Athens area of Ohio was a really cool area. The stage was set up with a piano a guitar, and a table with a Todd Snider hippie flag draped over it. We were sitting stage left 2nd/3rd row. When it was time for Todd to come out, the PA started playing the theme from Sanford and Son…awesome.

When Todd came out, he sang Can’t Complain, he then opened it up to requests, matter of fact he played requests the whole show, even encouraging people to write what songs they want to hear and throw it on stage during the intermission between sets. As expected, he told stories, great stories…in particular one about Bill Elliot that was spectacular. Another highlight of the show, early on when he first opened it up to requests, someone requested Vinyl Records….to which he claimed it had “a shitload of words” but he persevered….forgetting the words halfway through but carrying the song anyway the way only Todd could. My buddy who had seen Todd two times before said this was definitely the best Todd show he has seen so far. Another highlight was after the intermission he came out to do the second set and sat on the piano and did a cool piano version of the Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”. This whole show can be downloaded at for $7. A great thing to have for a show I attended. Here is a sample from the show below, the version of Vinyl Records I was talking about:

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The Fox Hunt & The Demon Beat @ The V-Club – Huntington, WV 12/31/10
When I heard about this show, I knew we had to add this stop to our roadtrip on the way back from seeing Todd Snider in Ohio. First I want to say that The V-Club just may be my new favorite bar/venue in any town. Just a great place, no TV’s, an outside bar, pool tables, great bands, ¬†great atmosphere, cheap beer, great local characters, and the cutest bartender in west bygod. Plus the V stands for Valhalla, which is kind of badass. Now about the show itself, this being a New Years Eve show, it was just one big party…the place was packed, the ladies were all decked out and everyone was having a good time. I don’t recall much about the opening band Universes, but they took the stage around 10 or so. It wasn’t until after midnight that the Fox Hunt took the stage. Let me tell you this is the way to see the Fox Hunt…the way they feed off the energy of the crowd…they seemed to be calling the songs off the cuff, deciding what songs to play based on the crowds response to the last song. They finished their set with Four Horses, which the crowd also ate up. They said they could tell whether or not they had a good show by how the crowd responds to that song. They had a good show.¬†Those worried about the new lineup need not worry, the new guys sound like they were always in the band, the only thing missing is all those great songs by Matt Kline. Luckily they have many other great songs to take up the slack.

Sometime later (excuse my time lapse, I had had a quite a few beers by this point), The Demon Beat took the stage. I knew this because THEY WERE LOUD! This was a damned rock show…no doubt about it. The guitarist Adam Meisterhans performed THE BEST windmills on the guitar I’ve ever seen. I mean I’ve only seen clips of Townsend, but I will say the windmills Meisterhans performed are as fucking good! Speaking of The Who…The Demon Beat’s drummer Jordan Hudkins played the drums like a mad man. I’ve never seen anything like this. By the end of each song the drum kit would be completely destroyed and have to be re-set up. Cymbals falling over, snares and toms falling over…all from sheer ferocity of his playing. At one point he picked up a fallen tom and used it to hit one of his crash cymbals. WOW. Check these guys out if they come to your area, we are talking balls to the wall, high gear, meth in your cocaine type of energy coming from this band. A ROCK SHOW!

Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit @ The V-Club – Huntington, WV 1/15/11
So at the V-Club on New Years we saw the posters for this show, and had such a good time we decided to make the trek again to see Isbell. Now, I may or may not have drank entirely too much at this show so my recollections are a bit cloudy. Should have probably let my buddy Brad (who will doing some upcoming guest posts) write this one. However, Jason and the gang put on a killer show. They played for over 2 hours, mixing in many covers such as crowd favorite “Psycho Killer”, and many songs from Jason’s DBT days like a killer version of “Decoration Day”, even some new songs from his upcoming album. Only disappointment about this show is that I did not see Jason at the local Applebees pre-show with Meghan McCain sharing the date night special (those who follow Jason on twitter will understand that joke). Though I did meet him on the street while we were walking to the club. Nice guy that Jason Isbell, puts on a hell of a show too. [EDIT: Professional-like photos from this show can bee seen here]

An Acoustic Evening With Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit (8/4/2009)

By request here, a Jason Isbell show from this past august. This is all acoustic, and it’s damn good. Sound is a B+ because there is some low level chatter throughout, but really nothing to make this unlistenable. Performance is a solid A+. A Very good evening of acoustic music from Mr. Isbell and his 400 Unit. Includes extended cuts of Danko/Manuel, Goddamn Lonely Love (an amazingly soulful version I might add…a must hear), Decoration Day and Thank God For The TVA (which was recently released on the killer DBT odd’s & ends album The Fine Print). Now that was all said to lure you DBT fans in who might be on the fence about Isbell’s solo career. I will say this, his latest self titled album is one of the finest albums I’ve heard this year. It’s definitely a slow grower…..but it sticks with you and reveals an album that will be listened to for many years to come.

An Acoustic Evening with Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit

Centro-Matic (with Jason Isbell) – The Mercy Lounge, Nashville TN August 24, 2007

I know I’ve got some Centro fans out there, this ones for you guys. This is pretty interesting, Centro-Matic with Jason Isbell on guitar. The sound is very clear, very good, and I’m sure you Centro fans will eat this up. Jason Isbell fans, there’s not really much on here for you guys, as these are all Centro-Matic (I.E. Will Johnson) songs. But it makes an interesting listen none-the-less.
Jason and his band The 400 unit are currently touring with Centro-Matic. They both have put out good albums this year. Isbell’s “Sirens of the Ditch” and Centro’s EP “Operation Motorcide“.
Centro-Matic (with Jason Isbell) – The Mercy Lounge

Jason Isbell – KEXP Studios Seattle 8-1-07

Here’s a good little acoustic Jason Isbell set he did for KEXP radio in Seattle, WA. There are some insightful interviews on here (sorry, he doesn’t spill any dirt on why he left DBT). Some good versions of songs off his new album as well. The highlight on here, just like on the album is of course Dress Blues. This song is so good it’s not even funny, and will surely be remembered as one of the best “protest songs” from this era when people start looking back.

Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit – Live in Philadelphia 7-14-07

All I can say about this one is WOW!!! Jason learned a thing or two during his stint with the truckers, number being how to put on a live show. If you like live truckers, download this…’s as good as anything they have done. Some seriously good guitar playing going on too….Jason was always a killer guitarist with the truckers, but he takes to a whole ‘nother level here…..I mean WOW!!! What’s even cooler is he plays some of his famous songs he recorded with the truckers…..and expands on them…..adding some of that killer guitar he is soon to be known for. I’m really loving this recording, alot better than the album (which is out NOW btw…..go get it……and go check him out live)
get his stuff here
Dead Link

Jason Isbell – Sirens of the Ditch (Leaked Album, Low Quality)

Here’s a special treat for you hearin’ ears, Jason Isbell’s long overdue solo album “Sirens of the Ditch”. Now I’ve upped this at a low quality intentionaly cause it helps to ease my mind about putting up the man’s album a whole month before it comes out…..but I know alot of people are curious like me and want to know what it sounds like. And what does it sound like…well it sounds like Jason Isbell… don’t be expecting a Drive-By Truckers album. One thing I do know is the studio version of “Dress Blues” is phenomenal! (man that steel guitar adds so much depth to the song). This song should be getting national radio airplay right now to drum up interest in this album…..why it’s not, God only knows. I also really like the songs “Try”, “Down In A Hole” (not an Alice Chains cover :P , though the guitar is slightly reminiscent of “Heaven Beside You”), the soulful “Hurricanes & Hand Grenades”, the folky “In A Razor Town”, the breezy country-rock of”The Magician”, and the killer closing track “The Devil is My Running Mate”. So I guess you could say I really like this album.

Anyway, here it is….in low quality, but still listenable….we’ll call it radio/streaming audio quality. If you like it buy it when it comes out sometime in july…’ll get a case, artwork, liner notes, and a shiny little disc to call your own.

  1. Brand New Kind of Actress
  2. Down in a Hole
  3. Try
  4. Chicago Promenade
  5. Dress Blues
  6. Grown
  7. Hurricanes and Hand Grenades
  8. In A Razor Town
  9. Shotgun Wedding
  10. The Magician
  11. The Devil Is My Running Mate

WMA @ 48kps
Download Link Removed

Bad news from the Drive-By Truckers

From the DBT website


It’s with a wide range of emotions and feelings that I’m announcing that we have parted ways with Jason.
The split, which I consider extremely amicable is the result of a period of personal and artistic growth from all sides which has left us with differing dreams and goals.

Jason joined our band, mid-tour, in the fall of 2001, shortly after the release of our 4th album (Southern Rock Opera). His impact on the band was immediate and profound, bringing an awe-inspiring combination of vocal range, guitar dexterity, and amazing songwriting and leading us into an era of creativity that has resulted in three albums that I will be proud of for as long as I live.

Life in a band is always a delicate balancing act of personal and musical chemistries. Having been in bands for most of my life, I still marvel that any band stays together for longer than a year. Especially if the band in question spends anywhere from 150-220 days a year on the road, as our band has done since 1998. That said, I have also likened this band to a family. A big, messy, sometimes dysfunctional one, but a family full of love all the same. It is in this spirit that I plan on Jason continuing to be a part of our lives wherever our roads and dreams take us in the immediate future.

Jason is about to embark on a tour (including a leg of dates with Son Volt) with his stellar band and will be releasing (finally) his amazing solo album “Sirens of the Ditch” <> . We all are wishing him nothing but the absolute best on every step that plays before him.

Cooley and I will have played together for 22 years this summer and DBT is about to begin it’s 12th year of existence on the very day that we will be going into the studio to begin recording our 8th album. Cooley recently sent me a demo of five new songs and yesterday I demoed nine new ones for consideration. In addition to Shonna and Brad (who is coming up on ten years in the band) John Neff will be playing with us full time, playing both guitar and pedal steel. John was a founding member of the band in 96 and has already played on four of our albums and has been on the road with us, full time for going on two years.

It is my sincere and and adamant hope that everyone will support all of us, and by that I mean our band and Jason’s, as we deal with this transition. Jason’s tenure in this band has been one of the greatest things that has ever happened to me on a personal and musical level and our love for him and his music is in no way changed or endangered by our collective decision to move into different directions.

In addition to the upcoming THE DIRT UNDERNEATH tour and the recording of our next album, we will also be playing some special ROCK SHOW dates this summer and hope to do another leg or two of THE DIRT UNDERNEATH in the fall.

As always, the bond that we have with each other, as well as with the folks that come to our shows and listen to our records has always been one of the things that has set this band apart. We plan to continue on in that tradition and spirit and hope you will come with us as we attempt to tell another tale and Rock the nights away a little while longer.

Sincerely Yours,
Patterson Hood
Drive-By Truckers
April 6, 2007