The top 10 Americana music videos

Creating videos to accompany releases has long been the norm in the music business and our particular field of interest, although not generally burdened with the cliche of mainstream releases is still prone to taking the easy route and there are some frankly dull examples. However some have aspired to create a work of art in their own right whether it be social commentary, an amusing narrative or a comment on the human condition as highlighted by the lyric in that particular song. The videos featured are all ‘official’ releases, although there are some great fan videos wherein footage has been added to tracks (Phil Bebbington’s channel holds many jewels from our genre); however for the purposes of this exercise we will stick to the artist’s ‘vision’. Continue reading “The top 10 Americana music videos”

Isbell lets indie stores sell new album a week early

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit album have got a new album out next month ‘Reunions’ which we have been tantalisingly drip-fed tracks from over recent weeks, but the wait is almost over, particularly if you live in North America. Yesterday Isbell announced plans to release the album exclusively to independent record stores in the U.S. and Canada on May 8th, one week ahead of its official release date of May 15th. Continue reading “Isbell lets indie stores sell new album a week early”

Jason Isbell performs “Something More Than Free” from home – Watch

Earlier in the week we gave you Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit’s remote rendition of their classic ’24 Frames’ and now just in time for the weekend they’ve released a version of ‘Something More Than Free’, the title track of Isbell’s 2015 solo album. Isbell is joined for the recording by bandmate and wife Amanda Shires surrounded by 400 Unit members Jimbo Hart, Sadler Vaden, Chad Gamble, and Derry deBorja. As RS notes, the song “about the grind of blue-collar existence and the hope for an afterlife that doesn’t require back-breaking labor” has a special resonance while so many employed via the gig economy are currently out of work because of the pandemic.

Jason Isbell and 400 Unit play silo version of “24 Frames” – Watch

Jason Isbell has gathered his 400 Unit assemble who are currently scattered around Nashville in their own respective quarantine holes to perform a remote version of their classic ’24 Frames’. Although the track is a live favourite they’ve recorded a much more laid back version here, with guitarist Sadler Vaden and Isbell himself leading the song with acoustic guitars, and the usual drums being quietened down with a snare. Here it is.

Here’s another track from the next Jason Isbell album

Ahead of the release of his anticipated (and we don’t use that word lightly) new album ‘Reunions’ which is due out 15th May on Thirty Tigers, Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit have released another new track called ‘Only Children’. RS Country have described it as “is the most sparse, nostalgic offering from Isbell’s Reunions to date, weaving an intimate tale of two up-and-coming bohemians. “Will you read me what you wrote?/The one I said you stole from Dylan,” Isbell sings on the four-minute, largely acoustic track.”

Jason Isbell covers DBT’s “Heathens” – Watch

Jason Isbell has posted a homemade recording of ‘Heathens’ the fan favourite from his former band Drive-By Truckers’ 2003 album ‘Decoration Day.’ The song has always been a favourite of Isbell’s, describing it as a “monster of a song” in his Instagram post and naming it as one of his all-time favourite DBT’s tracks earlier this year. Here it is.

Jason Isbell shares another track from new album – Listen

Jason Isbell has released another new track off his forthcoming album ‘Reunions’ called ‘What’ve I Done to Help’ which has been recorded with his longtime backing band the 400 Unit. The record is once again produced by Dave Cobb, who he’s collaborated with on each of his albums since 2013’s ‘Southeastern’.  As RS describe it, “at nearly seven minutes long, the album’s opening track offers a slightly different sonic approach from the Alabama-bred singer-songwriter. Anchored by a prominent bass line from the 400 Unit’s Jimbo Hart, the song is a moody, slow-building mid-tempo treatise on helplessness and inaction in the midst of societal turmoil.” “World’s on fire, and we just climb higher to where we’re no longer bothered by the smoke and the sound,” Isbell sings. “Good people suffer and the heart gets tougher/Nothing given, nothing found.”

AUK’s Chain Gang: Jason Isbell “Different Days”

For some reason I was late to the Jason Isbell party, I’m not sure why but I guess that’s how it goes sometimes!  However, better late than never and what better continuation of last week’s Chain Gang which featured Hannah Grace’s ‘Different Kind of Love’ than another different – ‘Different Days’ from Isbell’s best solo album ‘Southeastern’.  ‘Different Days’ reflects on his pre-sober life and the lyrics are clear and self-explanatory and this live version from the Ryman Auditorium 2017 is a gem.

Jason Isbell and 400 Unit announce new album “Reunions” and UK dates

Four time Grammy Award winner Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit have announced their triumphant return with a new album ‘Reunions’ due out May 15th on Thirty Tigers and a European tour at the end of this year. The first track from the new record comes in the shape of melody-packed, anthemic new single ‘Be Afraid’ which you can listen to below. Continue reading “Jason Isbell and 400 Unit announce new album “Reunions” and UK dates”

David Crosby is recording with Jason Isbell

Well looky here. During the Newport Folk Festival last year, David Crosby joined Jason Isbell on stage during his performance with the 400 Unit to perform two Crosby, Stills & Nash songs, ‘Wooden Ships’ and ‘Ohio’. They’ve become Twitter pals since then, kind of metaphorically high fiving each other, and then Jason Isbell tweeted yesterday that he “brought a ringer into the studio to sing”, that ringer being none other than… Continue reading “David Crosby is recording with Jason Isbell”