Minkin's Music: Jason Isbell does it again

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By Jay Minkin, Minkin's Music

If the topic of today’s top songwriters is broached, Jason Isbell is one name that falls off the lips from the usual suspects in the music business. The former Drive-By Truckers guitar player battled drug and alcohol addiction by escaping the darkness and finding the light with the help of his future wife, songwriter and fiddle player Amanda Shires. 

Today they are considered Nashville’s royal couple and have a mantle full of award hardware. This writer bestowed his 2009 and 2013 Album of the Year Award to Jason Isbell for his self-titled and Southeastern record releases. Along with stellar recordings Here We Rest (2011) and Something More Than Free (2015), Isbell’s body of work continues to set the bar higher every time he steps into a recording studio.  

Once again produced by Dave Cobb, the June release of The Nashville Sound is no exception, addressing topics of cultural privilege, nostalgia, love, mortality and hope with thoughtful, heartfelt and brutally honest songwriting. Cobb cut the 10 tracks live with no demos or rehearsals for a very brilliantly raw performance mix inside the historic RCA Studios in Music City. 

Backed by his band of brothers The 400 Unit, the Green Hill, Alabama native just a country mile from Muscle Shoals sets the tone leading off with “Last Of My Kind.” 

Acoustic numbers like “If We Were Vampires” and “Something To Love” mesh nicely with electric tunes “Cumberland Gap,” “White Man’s World” and “Hope The High Road,” which all have garnered radio airplay.

Contact Jay at Blues4Bird@aol.com or post on his Minkin’s Music Facebook page.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment