An album that presents a lighter side of the talented Jason Isbell without ignoring the bleaker parts of his life.
By Barry Mazor
August 4, 2015
When I saw Jason Isbell perform in 2003, at Maxwell’s, in Hoboken, N.J., he was a young relative newcomer to the Drive-By Truckers, and had just contributed a pair of startlingly conceived and executed songs to the album “Decoration Day” by that smart and song-rich band of Alabama-raised alternative-country rockers. One was the title number, concerning multigenerational feuding families, one family being his own; the other was “Outfit,” based on cautioning yet encouraging life and career advice he’d received from his father, a working-class house painter. (“Don’t call what you’re wearing an outfit . . . don’t worry about losing your accent.”)