First Taste of new album, The Nashville Sound, from Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit
It’s always a risk buying tickets for a show when the album for that tour hasn’t been released. Even worse is when it’s been a few years since the touring group dropped an album. Maybe the group pulled a 180 and decided to tour on an album of jazz metal hits instead of that folksy, singer-songwriter style that made you fall in love with them in the first place.
Have no fear! Although a tonal-shift has occurred since Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit’s last release in 2011, a preview from The Nashville Sound reveals a variety of majestic material, hinting at a more rocked out revival.
In discussing his presence on the up-and-coming “Outlaw Music Tour” with Willie Nelson and Bob Dylan, Isbell stated “It’ll be more of a rock show I think than what we’ve had in the past.” (Rolling Stone). A fact definitely foreshadowed by the released tracks.
Three songs have now been performed and released, “Hope the High Road,” “If We Were Vampires,” and “Cumberland Gap,”; having most recently been played on 909 In Studio (90.9 The Bridge) in a live session.
Though, “If We Were Vampires” is a hauntingly simplistic ballad, reminiscent of Isbell’s solo work, both “Cumberland Gap” and “Hope the High Road” move at a slightly more rapid pace with a less acoustic timbre.
The album, set to be released June 16th, is performed by Isbell with the 400 Unit, comprised of his lovely wife Amanda Shires (fiddle & vocals), Sadler Vaden (guitar), Chad Gamble (percussion), Jimbo Hart (Bass), and Gary DeBorja (keyboard). Producing the album is Dave Cobb, who also completed work on Chris Stapleton’s Travelers and Sturgill Simpson’s Metamodern Sounds of Country Music (The Boot).
Speaking on the recent album, Isbell emphasizes the importance of lyrics and melody in the pieces, but addresses the metamorphosing sound with the statement “You might shed some tears, but for once there’s a chance you might also dance a little,” in an interview with Rolling Stone.
Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit will headline The Wilma in downtown Missoula, MT with Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls on Saturday, September 9. Tickets are on sale now at The Top Hat Box Office, online and by calling (877) 987-6487. More information on the performance can be found here.
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