The Top 10 Greatest Ever Americana Artists: Number 9 – Jason Isbell

Photo: Nick Barber

At Number 9 in our Top 10 Greatest Ever Americana Artists is Jason Isbell on 30 points. Whilst none of our writers selected Isbell as their Number 1 choice, he did gain two second spots Here’s what each of those writers had to say about him.

“What can be said about Isbell that hasn’t already been said? It feels like everyone who considers themselves a fan of americana considers themselves a fan, and for good reason. I’m not sure anyone else would be able to work with the dark subject matter of shooting the father of an abused girl as masterfully as Isbell does on ‘Yvette’, let alone somehow manage to add biting humour to the heart wrenching and personal tale of a friend dying of cancer that he does on ‘Elephant’.”  Helen Jones

“Jason Isbell had been on my radar since his time with Drive-By Truckers, when he was clearly not only an emerging quality songwriter (‘Decoration Day’, ‘Danko/Manuel’’ and the brilliant ’Goddamn Lonely Love’) but a tasty guitarist to boot…. But starting with his first solo album ‘Sirens of the Ditch’, on which DBT members played, he was set fair for greatness because he embarked on a string of outstanding solo albums that each included iconic songs of love, death, immortality, marriage, and little day-to-day observations. His iconic status may have been established with ’Cover Me Up’ on his breakthrough album ‘Southeastern’ in 2013, a  stunning love song and a thank you note to his wife Amanda Shires, who is deemed responsible for his sobriety but, there are other songs on that and his subsequent albums that cement his reputation – ‘ 24 Frames’ and ‘If it Takes a Lifetime’ from ‘Something More than Free’, ‘Last of My Kind’ and the spellbinding ‘If We Were Vampires’ from’ The Nashville Sound’, ‘What Have I Done to Help’ and ‘Letting You Go’ from ‘Reunions’, and ‘When We Were Close’ and ‘Cast Iron Skillet’ from ‘Weathervanes’, to name but a few.” Fred Arnold

Tomorrow we reveal our Number 8, so don’t go anywhere. You won’t want to miss it.

About Clint West 317 Articles
From buying my first record aged 10 and attending my first gig at 14, music has been a lifelong obsession. A proud native of Suffolk, I have lived in and around Manchester for the best part of 30 years. My idea of a perfect day would be a new record arriving in the post in the morning, watching Ipswich Town win in the afternoon followed by a gig and a pint with my mates at night,
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Andrew Riggs

Jason at 9? I’m intrigued as to who is ahead of him!