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Recommend some Jason Isbel

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by stevel, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. stevel

    stevel Member

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    I caught - maybe it was an ACL - but a concert on TV somewhere and then just saw him again (seemed a little greyer so more recent) tonight on an Americana show.

    But I've heard what - maybe 8-10 songs by him. I liked them all though. I'm out of touch with this stuff so he's probably been around for a while, so are there any albums you'd recommend - the whole catalog good, any standouts or "avoids"?

    I like kind of how it's still a "band" format, and his guitarist does some really tasty atmospheric stuff - it's not in your face all the time but there's a nice slide line here, and a nice tremolo solo there, and so on. Isbel plays a little too, but doesn't overplay. What I'd call good sunday morning music. Good "storytelling" songs too.
     
  2. squeally dan

    squeally dan Member

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    I think Southeastern is a great recording. Took me more than one listen to love it.
     
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  3. Madrone

    Madrone Member

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    I agree Southeastern is my favorite. It’s maybe a little more singer-songwriter-y than the “band” vibe you mention... you may want to check the most recent album with the 400 Unit for more of that vibe. Those might be 2 good records to start with.
     
  4. rwmct

    rwmct Member

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    I have seen a half dozen or more versions of "Cigarettes and Wine" on youtube, and almost all of them are good.

    Some of his best songs come out of his time with the Drive By Truckers. "******** Lonely Love." "Outfit." "Dress Blues."

     
  5. utterhack

    utterhack Member

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    Recently made a playlist to introduce a friend to Jason Isbell. Might as well share here:



    Headz will notice it's missing some great songs, and there's probably another thread for headz to appreciate "the day john henry died" and "elephant" etc etc. But hey it's also got a lot of great songs and it's meant as a "get to know this guy" primer.
     
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  6. jhumber

    jhumber Member

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    For a live introduction (and a well-shot concert), this is great:

    Similar to the post above, I made a playlist to introduce some friends to his material. Here's a few tracks I'd recommend, by album:
    Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit (2010) - Seven-Mile Island, The Blue, The Last Song I Will Write
    Live From Alabama (2012) - Decoration Day, Outfit....these are both DBT truckers songs, and benchmark live recordings for me
    Southeastern (2013) - Elephant, Flying over Water, Super 8, Stockholm
    Something More Than Free (2015) - 24 Frames, Something More Than Free, Palmetto Rose
    The Nashville Sound (2017) - If We Were Vampires, Anxiety, Hope the High Road

    If you get a chance to see them live, take it. Great live band, incredibly strong vocals, and some really tasty guitar playing.
     
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  7. Nebakanezer

    Nebakanezer Silver Supporting Member

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    I can only add that he wrote this song that became the road map that defined how A Star Is Born took shape.

    Southeastern and Something More Than Free should be the starting points and branch out the The Nashville Sound and then head backwards. He has one or two before Southeastern, then if you really like Jason, look at his Drive-By Truckers era work. I don’t think he’s written a bad song, but I think he gets better as he ages.

    Edit to add: Go see him live!!! Jason and his band are top notch! Sadler is an awesome guitarist too!!! The House Of Blues show above is a great representation of how good they are live!!
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
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  8. FenderBigot

    FenderBigot Supporting Member

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    Watching this thread. I currently have 24 Frames, Palmetto Rose, Cover Me Up and Flying Over Water on my phone. Looking for similar songs of his. :aok
     
  9. Endr_rpm

    Endr_rpm Member

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    The "Live form Alabama" album is immediately post DRive By Truckers, so you get Decoration DAy, Dress Blues and others from that era. Then he had his near death experience ((Super 8) and got clean,and married and really deepened his perspective. Southeastern is just a masterpeice by any measure. I feel like 24 Frames struggled to measure up, Nashville Sound is an amazing record, but man, not much comes close to Flying over water or Elephant.
     
  10. grind1

    grind1 Member

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    Folks shouldn't overlook his first post-DBT album, "Sirens of the Ditch."

    Some great songs (that he should still play, imo) on that one despite the spotty reviews.
     
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  11. Mike R.

    Mike R. Member

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    Pretty much anything.
    He is a monster.
     
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  12. EricPeterson

    EricPeterson Member

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    Southeastern is a masterpiece. But pretty much everything he has put out is solid. You really cant go wrong.
     
  13. Blueskies4

    Blueskies4 Member

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    I like his song speed trap town, has some sweet pedal steel
     
  14. cram

    cram Member

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    These songs to me do not have an ounce of fat on them. Not over stated and if you take away a word or verse, the song is not the song.
    My first exposure to him is this song -


    Then on his solo release from a few years ago, my favorites are Elephant and Cover me up.


     
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  15. PedalFreak

    PedalFreak Supporting Member

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    Just to throw this out there. You may end up like me, liking his live shows, but not liking any of his albums. I've listened to them all multiple times trying to like them, but just can't get into them. If I watch or listen to his shows I like them more, not love them, but like them.

    To me his songs drag on, a lot of long repeated refrains or hooks, too wordy, they just don't seem to go anywhere. I think I get into the music more when I listen to his live shows, where the albums I hear the lyrics/song more. If that makes any sense.
     
  16. Misterbulbous

    Misterbulbous Member

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    The only Isbell album I have is his latest. It’s so damn good.
     
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  17. Michigan guitar

    Michigan guitar Member

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    I just recently started getting into Isbell. I love the Nashville Sound and just downloaded Live at the Ryman. It has a bunch of Nashville Sound tracks mixed with a bunch I hadn’t heard before. But, they all make me want to dig in deeper. Gotta say I love his guitar work and Vox-y tone. Sounds great!
     
  18. stevel

    stevel Member

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    So I just listened to Southeastern - with those endorsements, well how could I not. These are the songs I heard. Didn't take me more than one listen to love it. Sorry to curse, but Holy F^%K. Masterpiece is an understatement.

    Thank you all SO MUCH for the recommendation.
     
  19. squeally dan

    squeally dan Member

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    Elephant almost makes me cry. What a song.
     
  20. jim lavender

    jim lavender Member

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    I think he's an incredibly talented indiviual but I can only listen in doses as most of the stuff I've been exposed to is pretty depressing.
     

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