It’s not a well-kept secret that Jason Isbell songs just send me tingling all over, right? So, my old cabana boy called me the other night and said “Have you heard the new Jason Isbell record?”
“No, where’d you hear it?”
“Oh, they’re playing a few tracks on Outlaw Country on Sirius. There’s one song with a line that goes something like ‘I’m taking it home to go it alone again.’” Then he said a lot of other shit while I scrambled to look up the phone number of the only available place to shop in this little town, the sub-par conglomerate that I won’t even name. They had two copies, so I snagged them both. One for him (to rub it in, see?) and one for me to keep in the wrapper and fondle, while I “tested” the gift copy. Cover art by Browan Lollar. Birds, this time. Beautiful, as always. (more…)
You all know by now my penchant for owning the physical disc. Even when times are hard. I’d love to tell you it’s because my high morals won’t allow me to copy OPD’s (other people’s discs) but, well, I just really like to peel off the wrappers and pop out the pretty inserts and stuff.
And, I do like to cuss the postal system when it’s late, cuss the state of our society because there are no independent music stores – you know, get myself a little worked up. Then, when I finally get my hands on the actual item, I run my fingers over the lyrics booklet, read the dedication and thank yous and all before I listen from track one to the very end.
From the moment I sussed out the info that Steve Earle was releasing "Townes", I knew I’d have to have that one. It’s a forever keeper. And, Guy Clark’s "Sometimes the Song Writes You" was getting multiple rave reviews before I’d ever heard of it, so I internet-ordered that. Kris Kristofferson’s "Closer to the Bone" kept me camped out by the mailbox for a while. Well worth the frostbite, though.
Jason and the 400 Unit put out a crazy good CD just a year or so ago called Sirens of the Ditch. It had "Brand New Kind of Actress" and "Dress Blues "and got plenty attention. I ordered it pre-released and it’s been played and played and I still love it and it still moves me.
The new self-titled album is a beautiful work of art. No, really, I bought the package deal from their website and got the album and an autographed CD. My record spinner is out of commission right now, but I had to have that big ol’ album, just for the cover art. Browan Lollar did it. Talk about multi-talented, this band’s got that wrapped. Jason’s just a wizard at everything.
The 400 Unit is Browan Lollar, Derry deBorge, Jimbo Hart and Matt Pence. They’re no slouches. Look them up, if you haven’t. Those of you who like to cherry-pick songs (which I still find kinda weird) try "Sunstroke" first. If you love it, try "Good" too. If you don’t think you love either of ‘em and you just wanna drink beer and get in touch with your inner cowboy, give a listen to "Cigarettes and Wine". If that don’t get ya, I’ll cry in my beer for you.
I am still listening to Icky Thump (White Stripes) and enjoying it more each time, so maybe that’s my favorite album of 2007. I really think Jack White brings something unexpected to the table every single time and you gotta respect that. This whole CD is full of innovative creations of the non-typical sort. Check out “CONQUEST”!!! People who think your music collection is a little “country heavy” will appreciate this one. It’s just fun. (more…)
He took charge of the stage and his band, the 400 Unit, and put on quite a show from the very beginning. By the second song, I had forgotten that he had ever consorted with any Truckers at all. Starting out his performance with "Down in a Hole" (which I always thought was called “Trouble” before I bought the album) was brilliant and surprising. Then he jumped right into "Try". ("You can’t make a woman sleep alone, but you try don’t you? You can’t make her stay her ass at home.")