This can’t go on forever

Back in August Friend of the Blog Carl Duelmann asked: “Do you ever listen to Jason Isbell? He might be too country for you but he is one of the best songwriters I’ve ever heard.”

The Guardian’s David Taylor caught up with the Grammy-winning Nashville musician and former Drive-By Trucker ahead of a gig today in Noo Yawk City and the interview is well worth your time.

Isbell is critical of our current “administration” without being shrill, and he doesn’t waste a lot of thought on the “shut up and sing” crowd. (Just how the hell are you supposed to shut up and sing at the same time, anyway?)

Isbell doesn’t even try, though he does prefer to let his music do the heavy lifting.

Asked if he intended to get political during an upcoming six-night run at the Ryman Auditorium, Isbell replied: “Well, my job is to write songs and if I feel like it is an emergency and I feel like I need to say something political between the songs, then I’ll do that.

“But normally, if it doesn’t rhyme and it doesn’t involve me introducing my band, I’m not gonna say it, because I’m not a standup comedian, I’m not a lecturer and I don’t give TED talks. If there’s not a melody and some rhyme there then you probably won’t hear it from me. But I think the songs speak enough.”

While we’re on the topic of songs that speak enough, FOTB Pat O’B. forwards an NPR note about a music video for John Prine’s song “Summer’s End,” the centerpiece to his latest release, “The Tree of Forgiveness.”

It must take a lot of practice to sing a song like this without bursting into tears.

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9 Responses to “This can’t go on forever”

  1. Sharon Says:

    Jason Isbell is in a league of his own in songwriting and performing. He is also a top-shelf guitarist. His song about the 2016 election – Hope the High Road and White Man’s World are superb commentary, especially coming from a white man from Alabama. He has had quite a personal journey and shares a stark peek inside with his songs. We saw him last month during a 3-night sold out run at Austin Bass Concert Hall. Sublime.

  2. Dale Says:

    I read that piece about Isbell in the Guardian about an hour ago, and took the time to listen to a couple of his songs. He is one hell of a songwriter with a tight band supporting him.

  3. Keith willy Says:

    Very nice. Thanks.

  4. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Ever since I heard John Prine and Bonnie Raitt sing “Angel From Montogomery” in the grocery store, of all places, I have been a fan. I wish I learned about him sooner. And, I like Isbell’s music and attitude.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I stumbled across Raitt and Prine in college in the mid-Seventies, and boy, am I ever glad I did.

      How’d the ride go today? Better than the pasta feed, I hope. …

      • Pat O’Brien Says:

        The pasta turned out to be OK. Well worth the $6 price. Ride was good. It was well organized with police assist with traffic on first 3 big intersections, big for this little burg anyway. But, damn the return leg was hot. I put as much water on me as in me. The OGWGFIWRT jersey was a smash hit. A picture of it may show up in the local fish wrapper. If so, I will email to you.

  5. SteveO’D Says:

    For what it’s worth, whenever I start a new pandora or Spotify playlist, it immediately fills up with Jason Isbell, Ryan Adams, and Emmylou Harris.

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