Drive-By Truckers Welcome Jason Isbell At The Ryman

Watch Isbell join his old bandmates for "Heathens" and "The Day John Henry Died" for the second night in a row.

By Scott Bernstein Oct 5, 2021 9:11 am PDT

Drive-By Truckers were joined by former bandmate Jason Isbell for the second night in a row on Monday at Nashville’s famed Ryman Auditorium. Isbell sat-in on “Heathens” and “The Day John Henry Died” just as he did at ShoalsFest on Sunday.

The band put the focus on material from the 2000s with seven songs from 2001’s Southern Rock Opera, three tracks each from 2003’s Decoration Day and 2008’s Brighter Than Creation’s Dark and four tunes off 2004’s The Dirty South making the setlist at The Ryman. Additionally, DBT looked to 2020’s The Unraveling for “Grievance Merchants,” “Slow Ride Argument” and “Thoughts And Prayers.” The evening’s lone cover was a take on Warren Zevon’s “Play It All Night Long.”

  • Jason Isbell & David Hood Join Drive-By Truckers At ShoalsFest

    Jason Isbell & David Hood Join Drive-By Truckers At ShoalsFest 

  • Patterson Hood & Mike Cooley Join Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit At ShoalsFest

    Patterson Hood & Mike Cooley Join Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit At ShoalsFest 

Jason emerged towards the middle of Drive-By Truckers’ set. DBT frontman Patterson Hood provided a similar introduction for Isbell, who was member of the group from 2001 – 2007, as what he shared at ShoalsFest one night prior. Patterson recalled his first meeting with Isbell. “I played him my brand new song which was called ‘Heathens,’ and he seemed to like it. Then he played me his brand new song which I think at that time I think was called ‘Superman’s A Damn Fool,’ a great fucking song,” Hood said. “He looked about 14 but this guy could write song motherfucking songs,” Patterson exclaimed. “And then fate leading him into joining our band for about five wonderful years and he’s going to come out and do ‘Heathens’ with us.”

Isbell took the stage at which point Hood explained he started writing the lyrics to the Decoration Day classic on a trampoline in Athens. Jason provided harmony vocals and took a solo on “Heathens.” Isbell then fronted his old band on The Dirty South gem “The Day John Henry Died.”

Watch DBT & Jason Isbell perform “Heathens” and “The Day John Henry Died” below thanks to Tyler Eaves:

Tyler Eaves (See 6 videos)
Drive-By Truckers (See 40 videos) and Jason Isbell (See 74 videos)


Drive‐By Truckers at Ryman Auditorium

  • The Living Bubba
  • A Ghost to Most
  • Tornadoes
  • Grievance Merchants
  • The Boys From Alabama
  • Where the Devil Don't Stay
  • Ronnie and Neil
  • 72 (This Highway's Mean)
  • Plastic Flowers on the Highway
  • Filthy and Fried
  • The Righteous Path
  • Slow Ride Argument
  • Thoughts and Prayers
  • Ramon Casiano
  • Heathens
  • The Day John Henry Died
  • Zip City
  • Sandwiches for the Road
  • Women Without Whiskey
  • Sink Hole
  • Uncle Frank
  • Play It All Night Long  
  • 3 Dimes Down
  • Let There Be Rock
  • Marry Me
  • Angels and Fuselage
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