As if it wasn't tough enough leaving an immensely popular band after six years of near constant touring and recording, Jason Isbell steps out of the Drive-By Truckers and right into the challenging role of full-time frontman. With a brand-new solo album, Sirens of the Ditch, hitting stores July 10, and a van-load of tour dates to support it, the pressure is on. Yet he reports, "I'm not really feeling any anxiety, but this is definitely different. I just have to plan ahead and make three times more decisions."
The timing of Isbell's recent departure from the DBT and the release of Sirens may seem like synchronicity, but it wasn't planned this way. The album took four years to complete. Between DBT's obligations, Isbell would slip into the legendary Fame Studios in his hometown of Muscle Shoals, Ala., and lay down a track or two when he could. "I would get in there for two to three days at a time, sometimes just for a day. It was a challenge to maintain continuity over the years, and I really had to work on that from a production stance."
Known as the more melodic of the DBT's songwriter triad, Isbell's Sirens is just what you would expect from him: great rocking songs with enough pop hooks to be captivating, and enough edginess to keep you on your toes. "I try to write songs that I want to listen to over and over, and I am a big fan of good pop music. There's so much good stuff by folks like Tom Petty, Big Star, and that's what I was aiming for."
Given the recording time span, it's no surprise that some of Isbell's former bandmates are all over the record. Patterson Hood shows up, along with drummer Brad Morgan, steel player John Neff, and even Isbell's ex-wife and DBT bassist Shonna Tucker. "They did a great job on the record and really added a lot," he says. "I'm honored that they did it." With the past fading behind him sans regrets, it's time for Jason Isbell to go trucking on his own.
come on man you know you got a bromance. you probably still rock that OutKast…
Yes, 14 is the correct answer. I'll pass your info along to the group's manager,…
That was January of 2007, and they are 21 now, so I'm guessing 14?