World Cafe

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Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

After a successful six years of recording and performing, former Drive-By Tuckers guitarist and songwriter Jason Isbell left the iconic rock band to explore his own musical identity.

He released his first solo album, "Sirens of the Ditch", in 2007, revealing a softer blues mixed with southern and country-rock. Then he pulled together a group of talented musicians to create Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit. Isbell's transformation from guitarist to lone frontman came through an eponymous debut in 2009, which was received with enthusiasm across the board. The warm and gritty country-soul of this Alabama native, impressively created by keyboardist Derry deBorja, guitarist Browan Lollar, drummer Chad Gamble and bassist Jimbo Hart with Isbell at their front, has only gotten better with time. They've logged thousands of miles and hours on the road with non-stop performances and song-writing. But now Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit are taking a break from that life for the next album.

Isbell returned home to northern Alabama for his latest offering, the vintage and versatile "Here We Rest". Taking its name from the state's first motto, this collection of 11 tracks also takes its inspiration from the daily struggles and triumphs that make  up life in this corner of the world. As Isbell put it, “Being able to sit on my stool at D.P.’s, a bar in the building I live in, talk to my friends, and hear the problems that they have helped inform some of these songs.” While taking a break from the road, Isbell was also able to expand his musical sensibilities, collaborating with the likes of Justin Townes Earle, Middle Brother, Abby Owens and Coy Bowles. The different sights and sounds are reflected in "Here We Rest"--it's an album still replete with traditional Southern tunes, but at the same time, it's more eclectic than previous releases with blues-rock and South soul influences. The lyrics are bitter yet hopeful, sung in Isbell's amiable tones for even greater impact. It seems like Isbell and his 400 Unit have found their groove.

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit are currently on tour in support of "Here We Rest," with stops all across North America. Cities include Atlanta, Memphis, San Diego, and Portland.

Hear the band play live and talk about their new album, "Here We Rest."


Recent Release: Here We Rest
Release Date: April 12, 2011   
Label: Lightening Rod Records        
Origin: Alabama, US    

Set List: