Jason Isbell: Something More Than Free (Spunk)

 |   |  <1 min read

Jason Isbell: Children of Children
Jason Isbell: Something More Than Free (Spunk)

When he left country-rockers Drive-By Truckers in 07, songwriter Isbell was damaged by alcohol and a painful separation, but since then has steadily built a platform as a literate, heartfelt songwriter whose albums have penetrating narratives alongside nakedly soul-baring lyrics and aching songs about hard truths like cancer, abuse, family or a friend killed in Iraq.

Like some country-raised Paul Simon, Isbell can command a memorable phrase which resonates and marry it to a melody that sticks.

His previous album Southeastern was inspired by sobriety and his new love Amanda Shires (fiddle player in his band), this excellent outing finds him in a state of settled unease, he's in a safer place but acknowledges the uncertainties of this world (the pull of alcoholism), especially now that he's married and a father.

If that sounds drearily domestic it isn't.

These songs sear or soar (the epic Children of Children managing both), that unease is at heart of things (“Are you living the life you chose, or are you living the life that chose you?”), Speed Trap Town finds a damaged man desperate to escape his past . . .

His best yet.

There is an in-depth interview from 2014 with Jason Isbell here

Share It

Your Comments

Loretta Bush - Aug 4, 2015

Will have to get his new album. Didn't know about it until reading it here, so thanks. Love his other ones, and have seem him play a couple of times. Really excellent.

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Van Morrison: Keep Me Singing (Caroline/Universal)

Van Morrison: Keep Me Singing (Caroline/Universal)

Although the past decade has been a little wobbly for the former Celtic soul genius that is Van Morrison, it is Elsewhere's contention that your man really has undergone a late career... > Read more

Mudcrutch: Mudcrutch (Reprise)

Mudcrutch: Mudcrutch (Reprise)

Here's an odd and unexpected one. Anyone who has seen Peter Bogdanovich's recent Runnin' Down a Dream DVD doco about Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (in Absolute Elsewhere, use the tag below)... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GREGORY PORTER INTERVIEWED (2014): Grammy jazz gentle giant

GREGORY PORTER INTERVIEWED (2014): Grammy jazz gentle giant

Gregory Porter is a big man with a soft voice. The former linebacker from San Diego slipped sideways into music with the assistance of a mentor Kamau Kenyatta, got a part on Broadway in the cast... > Read more

MONEY DON'T GET EVERYTHING IT'S TRUE: What it don't get, I can't use

MONEY DON'T GET EVERYTHING IT'S TRUE: What it don't get, I can't use

In a Mumbai bar a guy from Amsterdam tells me (from New Zealand), about an American television programme. Despite the cultural collisions of that, he's got a good story. Apparently the host... > Read more