Something More Than Free – Jason Isbell

Something More Than Free, Jason Isbell’s follow-up to 2013’s Southeastern is not yet out but you can listen to it here (courtesy of NPR).

"Something More Than Free" - Jason Isbell

Something More Than Free – Jason Isbell

I’ve only given it one listen so far but I can tell I’m going to be listening to it a lot more. Takes me a while to really absorb all the lyrics – and lyrics are Isbell’s forte. (Check his Twitter feed – hilarious and insightful). Have to listen to it in the car when no one else is there.

Already, I can tell I’m not going to be disappointed. And I’m loving the fiddle – assuming that is Amanda Shires . . . How convenient for Isbell to marry one of the best Americana fiddle players out there.

What a breath of fresh air!  Spent the day in the car yesterday with a little tyrant who punched country station after country station on my poor car stereo.  I was starting to believe that there isn’t a country song out there that isn’t about some guy trying to get a girl in his truck with some beer and a good country song so they can drive down that dirt road and do whatever all night.  Because, you know, that is what the South and manhood is all about.  And women are the accessories.

Contrast that with Isbell’s thoughtful lyrics that let you know what life is really all about.  “Something More Than Free” is the real working man’s anthem that the country songs today try to be.  It’s about going to work day in and day out. It’s about that feeling of release when you get home from work and touches on the hell raising that comes with that but it’s also realistic.  A ballad instead of the usual hell-raising song you hear on Howling Wolf Big Hat Country but it’s real.    “I don’t think of why I’m here or where it hurts, I’m just lucky to have the work.  And every night I dream I’m drowning in the dirt, but I thank God for the work.”  “Cause a hammer needs a nail and the poor man’s up for sale. ”  “What I’m working for is something more than free.”

And his love song to an old girlfriend, “Are you living the life you chose?  Are you living with a man who knows you like I thought I did back then?”  It’s got Jack and Coke in it, yeah, but the woman gets to think for herself and there is more to her than her long hair and Daisy Dukes.

Thank you, Jason.  You’re restored my faith in “country music.”

 

 

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Southeastern – Jason Isbell

Southeastern - Jason Isbell

Southeastern – Jason Isbell

In late 2005, I was home listening to an album by a band I had recently discovered called the “Drive-By Truckers” I enjoyed their raucous and rowdy southern rock sound. It wasn’t until I heard:,

“You want to grow up to paint houses like me,
A trailer in my yard till you’re 23.
You want to feel old after 42 years,
Keep dropping the hammer and grinding the gears.

Well, I used to go out in a Mustang,
A 302 Mach One in green.
Me and your Mama made you in the back
And I sold it to buy her a ring.”

. . . come through my speakers that I immediately sat up and took notice.  This sounded nothing like any of the other Drive -By Trucker songs that I had previously listened to. Continue reading

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Goodbye Normal Street – Turnpike Troubadours

Turnpike Troubadours - Goodbye Normal Street

Turnpike Troubadours – Goodbye Normal Street

The Turnpike Troubadours are an Oklahoma based group of talented musicians with a unique ability to perfectly blend the soul of traditional country music with a rambunctious sound of today’s modern Texas music scene. “Goodbye Normal Street” is the 3rd studio album and I believe to be their finest work to date.

Released in 2012, “Goodbye Normal Street” is a wonderful collection of songs that immediately make you sit up and take notice of this band, who appear to be on their way to a very bright future. The simple backbeat drum intro followed immediately by the banjo and fiddle lead you into the opening song, “Gin Smoke Lies” and quickly allows the listener to realize this band is more than simply trying to make a living playing music, but are a band who take the music they make very serious. Continue reading

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Drive-By Truckers – Boulder Theater – April 12, 2013


My guess is that even hardcore Drive-Trucker fans are tired of hearing us go on and on about the Truckers.  Sorry.  It’s just they never get old. Anyway. instead of telling you again how it’s one of the best Rock Shows you can see and telling you how cool it was to see it at the Boulder Theater (even though the sound mix wasn’t perfect), here are some blurry photos.  Try to imagine yourself being there.  And breathe deep. It’s Boulder.

Patterson Hood & his cough medicine

Patterson Hood & his cough medicine

Please excuse me for not getting better pictures of Patterson but I love this one of him holding up his cough medicine.

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You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive

One of my favorite artists on one of my favorite shows!

It’s bloody and obviously not filmed in Eastern Kentucky but I can’t get enough of it.

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