Jason Isbell covers Tom Petty’s “Refugee” – Watch

It’s a sign of how much Tom Petty meant to the americana community that so many of “our” artists have been covering his tunes the past week.  RS Country reports this morning: “Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit paid their respects to Tom Petty on Sunday night, kicking off a six-day residency at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium with a 19-song set that included the Damn the Torpedoes hit “Refugee.”

The performance was the latest in a string of Petty covers from Isbell and company. Two days earlier, the group closed out a festival gig in Memphis with Petty’s “American Girl,” with the frontman himself performing a solo version of “Even the Losers” earlier in the night. Last week, 400 Unit guitarist Sadler Vaden appeared at a sold-out “Tom Petty Celebration” show in Nashville, with nearly a dozen bands hopping onstage to perform hits from the Heartbreakers catalog. Back in 2013, Isbell and Shires even remade “You Got Lucky” into a stomping, Celtic-inspired folksong during the Austin incarnation of Petty Fest.

The respect between the singers appears to have been mutual. Petty, whose side-project, Mudcrutch, shared a bill with the 400 Unit at the 2016 Summer Camp Music Festival in Chillicothe, Illinois, was an Isbell fan as far back as 2013, when he Tweeted a picture of a turntable spinning a copy of Isbell’s Southeastern.”

Watch the clip below if you can stop yourself being irritated 2 seconds in by the thought: “why on earth did they have their phone in portrait?”

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Author: Mark Whitfield

Mark Whitfield has been the Editor of Americana UK for the last 17 years, although if you go to his Twitter feed it's just one long list of all the things he loves about Jeremy Corbyn, which is irritating. Also likes astronauts.

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