For awhile I have wanted to do a post on Jason Isbell but felt he was just a little bit too new to my ears to give it the attention he deserved, so in order to set it straight and get a post about him here on Soundtrack4Life I asked a good buddy of mine, Colin Busher, from Ireland if he would kindly write a few words about the man. And as if by magic, here it is. Enjoy. Click on the links for further information and for music from Jason Isbell.
(Photo: Joshua Black Wilkins)
DISCOVERING JASON ISBELL by Colin Busher
Towards the end of
his book “Walk Like a Man”, Robert J. Wiersema laments the change in
your reaction to discovering new music as you get older.
teenager, the effect is a very visceral, physical one, from devouring
every note, pouring over every word. Your heart, he says expands in your
chest as if it’s about to burst. We’ve all been there in our younger
years, finally having found an artist that just ‘gets you and your life –
understands you’ with their lyrics and music. As we get older the
reaction to new music he argues is more cerebral, appreciative rather
than passionate. You love the new music but you’re not IN love with it.
He then proceeds to blow this argument out of the water as he discovers
The Hold Steady.
read like those of a world weary soul having felt, loss, regret,
loneliness, recrimination, love and salvation. A lifetimes worth of
experiences. But he’s only 34. Man I can’t wait to hear what he’s gonna
write when he’s 60!
That physical reaction that Wiersema speaks of
in his book took hold of me that day. I went out determined to get hold
of his back catalogue and over the next few months I have managed to
get all but one of his previous albums on vinyl. Each one a corker in
it’s own right.
A former member of Drive By Truckers (who I have
to listen to – but am assured of great things by the good people on
Facebook) Jason Isbell wrote material with them for the three albums,Decoration Day (2003), The Dirty South (2004) and Blessing and a Curse (2006).
to alcohol and drugs, Isbell is reported as saying “I’m lucky to have a
second chance at all this. I don’t remember a lot of the good times
from my days with the Truckers.” This time I want to remember it all.
Thankfully his now wife Amanda Shires and friend Ryan Adams got him into
rehab back in 2012 and everything seems to be going on an even keel at
I managed to catch him live in Dublin back in
November for what for me was my gig of the year. At first appearing self
effacing, he grew to be charming, funny and very appreciative of the
audience telling tales of his exploits with the bottle, how he suffered
his wife’s study of James Joyce and the enthusiasm of DBT fans. The
songs of course stood out in their own right. Each one had the audience
transfixed – particularly Yvette and my own favourite Different Days.**
Isbell is on tour in the UK in May – make an effort to get to see him.
You may just be transported back to those visceral, physical feelings of
discovering new music you had when you were a teenager.
*I have plans for all the movies on Southeastern in my own mind’s eye!
** Doug note for Colin: found the video of the song from Dublin. Just for you.
The Cure played last night at The Royal Albert Hall in London in aid of The Teenage Cancer Trust and will play tonight also at the historic venue. Last night they pulled off a three and a half hour show that featured a very strong 45 song set! Yep, you read that right, 45 songs! A 29 song main set and 16 songs spread across three encores! Memories of last years' show in Mexico for Robert Smith's 54th birthday come creeping back when the band played for 4 hours and 16 minutes and bashed out 50 songs!
I've tried to find as many links as I can from the show and will add more and better quality ones when they become available. Enjoy.
Setlist: The Cure, Royal Albert Hall, London, UK, 28/03/14
Peter Watson left the band in 1966 and The Action were seemingly getting nowhere. The critics enjoyed their music but they just couldn't get a hit record. Even the February 1966 follow-up to the 'Land' single didn't even make a dent.
Alan 'Bam' King went on to form Ace featuring Paul Carrick. They released three albums between 1974-77, and a number of singles, most which didn't sell well or even chart but their debut single 'How Long' peaked at #20 in the UK and hit #3 in the US Billboard Chart.
The fifth studio release from The Kaiser Chiefs will see the light of day at the end of this month. It is the first one since the departure of Nick Hodgson, their drummer and principle song writer. The US release will be a day later on 1st April 2014.
In December they released on their Soundcloud page a new song and one of the best on the album, 'Misery Company'. 'Bows and Arrows' followed in Januaryon the Rolling Stone website and then released as a single. In February they released 'Coming Home' as a single and that was closely followed by a promo video for the single. 'Coming Home' I actually think is the weakest song on the album and so was surprised that it was the first song they made a video for prior to the release of the album. My personal view is that 'Factory Gates' would have made a great single.
I have to say that I really like the new material. After the 2nd album, 'Yours Truly, Angry Mob' I felt that they kind of lost their way a bit with the following two albums ('Off With Their Heads' and 'The Future is Medieval'). So in many ways this is a return to form I think. Frontman Rick Wilson is currently a judge on the UK version of The Voice on the BBC.
On this day in musical history U2 performed from the roof of a store in downtown LA to make the video
for 'Where The Streets Have No Name', attracting thousands of spectators
and bringing traffic to a standstill. The police eventually stop the
James Stevenson, Smiley Barnard, Lydia Franklin and Steve Webster (and not forgetting Kerry Barnard - not pictured) joined together to record a song written by Lydia called 'Don't Take Action'. All money generated by downloading the song from Reverbnation will go towards Love Hope Strength.
Wow, I can hardly believe that we have reached a thousand posts on this little blog that I set up firstly for my own enjoyment and along the way there have been almost 100,000 views from all across the world. Thank you for stopping by and enjoying the music with me. Back in May last year I posted a couple of pieces outlining 50 of my favourite albums that have stuck with me through thick and thin down through the years and by no means was it a set in stone list of what my favourite albums of all time are, though some of them would easily be in a proper list:
So for this 1000th post I thought I would do a proper listing of my 100 All Time Favourite Songs. A couple of things before we begin. Firstly, these are my choices and I hope you might find something to your own liking among them. Secondly, your choices would be totally different from mine so why not sit down and work it out and share it with me and with others. Thirdly, it would have been way too easy to fill up a hundred spots with multiple tunes by a number of artists so I set myself the task of finding the one song that I loved more than anything else from the particular artist. Of course there are probably better songs, but these are the ones that do it for me.
I want to dedicate this blog post to two dear friends Rue and Liz. The adventure is soon to begin.
Every story of course needs a soundtrack and it's actually amazing the amount of songs that are out there that focus on issues of family, kids and growing up and so I thought it would be fun to bring a few of those songs together in one place. Because family is such a varied thing, no two are ever the same, and because life throws up it's surprises in many different guises so the soundtrack is very eclectic drawing from many differing musical strands. So, from the fun to the serious I offer up this list to Rue and Liz and to all who know the joys and heartaches of family life.
It took a good few years from the original desire to work together to finally get Wilko Johnson and Roger Daltrey in the same studio and boy how we are glad that Wilko has not passed out of this world just yet because we might never have seen this happen. So, 'Going Back Home' is released on Chess Records! It seems perfectly fitting for these two blues warriors who have thrilled us with their own brand of Chicago Blues to get the album released on the the label that first brought to our attention the likes of Bo Diddley, Little Walter, Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon and Chuck Berry. The album is made up of ten Johnson originals (from his days in Dr Feelgood and his group The Solid Senders) and a cover version of a Bob Dylan track - 'Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window?' (originally released by Bob on 'Highway 61 Revisited').
My only criticism is that it is only 35mins long.. But I won't dwell on that because thankfully we have a repeat button, so we can just play it again and again!
Daltrey actually is sounding fantastic, and for a bloke of 70 years, his pipes seem to be in great condition as he pulls off moment after moment on the album.
Setlist 1. All Right 2. Barbed Wire Blues - 3:37 3. The More I Give - 8:07 4. Dr Dupree - 11:42 5. When I'm Gone - 15:57 6. Roxette (long version) - 24:30 Part 2: Wilko, Norman, Dylan, Roger Daltrey (Vocals), Mick Talbot (Keys), Steve Weston (Harmonica) 7. Going Back Home - 30:35 8. Keep It To Myself - 34:32 9. Please Crawl Out Your Window - 39:45 10. Keep On Loving You - 44:00 11. Some Kind Of Hero - 50:03 12. Ice On The Motorway - 54:36 13. Sneakin Suspicion - 57:58 14. Everybody's Carrying A Gun - 1:03:50 15. Keep It Out Of Sight 1:08:15 16. All Through The City - 1:13:13 17. I Can't Explain - 1:17:40 18. Keep It To Myself (again!) - 1:21:40