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

Tahuna Breaks: Black Brown and White (Chocolate)

Tahuna Breaks: Black Brown and White (Chocolate)

I'd be astonished if Tahuna Breaks don't have hugely successful concerts on their current tour, and sell truckloads of this album -- because they tick every stylistic box that New Zealand audiences... > Read more

Loudon Wainwright III: Older Than My Old Man Now (Proper)

Loudon Wainwright III: Older Than My Old Man Now (Proper)

On the second song here the venerable Wainwright names his "favourite protagonist. Me" and that song follows the autobiographical The Here and Now in which he counts down marriages,... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

PORTSMOUTH SINFONIA: PLAYS THE POPULAR CLASSICS, CONSIDERED (1974): So bad it's . . . just bad?

PORTSMOUTH SINFONIA: PLAYS THE POPULAR CLASSICS, CONSIDERED (1974): So bad it's . . . just bad?

In the liner notes to this hilariously unlistenable and sometimes punishingly painful album, the producer Brian Eno notes that “it is important to stress the main characteristic of the... > Read more

FEMI KUTI INTERVIEWED AT WOMAD (2014): A voice in the wilderness

FEMI KUTI INTERVIEWED AT WOMAD (2014): A voice in the wilderness

Elsewhere has already published an in-depth interview with Femi Kuti but we also caught up with him at a press conference at the recent Womad where he performed. Politics was,... > Read more