Jason Isbell’s Decoration Day and Stories of Truth

Image- nffcnnr Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

A Jason Isbell song is not just a song; it’s a 3-5 minute novel. His 2013 album Southeastern is being regarded as one of the best (and my personal favorite) albums of the year—primarily because of its beautiful songwriting. Isbell’s whole career has been marked by exceptional storytelling, songs like “Danko/Manuel”, “Chicago Promenade”, and “Codeine” hit me in the same way as the powerful short stories of Flannery O’Connor, Elmore Leonard, or Harry Crews.Like O’Connor, Leonard, and Crews, Isb … [Read more...]

God & Country Music: The New Jason Isbell

isbell

I was fourteen when I first heard Jason Isbell. When he was still with the Drive-By Truckers in 2004, “Goddamn Lonely Love” was on one of those CDs that used to come good music magazines. I knew I had found something special. For a teenager looking for a world to relate to, Jason Isbell’s songs were just what I didn’t know I was looking for.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4LDjo8ltl4Isbell is an unusual kind of songwriter. Starting out with the Drive-By Truckers a little over a decade ago, … [Read more...]

God and Country Music: Drive-By Truckers and Narrative Identification

Each week in God and Country Music, Nick Rynerson gives country music a chance and examines the world of Americana, folk, alt-country, and popular country music. If you want a cup of coffee, you go to Starbucks. If you want to mail an envelope, you go to the post office. If you want to see a good movie, you watch something with Ryan Gosling in it. And if you want to hear a good story, you listen to the Drive-By Truckers; at least that is where my mind goes. The Drive-By Truckers are an a … [Read more...]


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