Jason Isbell Plays Final Show As Member Of Drive-By Truckers On This Date In 2007

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From fall 2001 through April 6, 2007 Jason Isbell was a member of Drive-By Truckers. The guitarist was one of the principle songwriters during his stint in the band, alongside founding guitarists Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley. Isbell played his final show as an official member of DBT on March 31, 2007.

While his subsequent solo efforts, often supported by his band The 400 Unit, helped to establish Isbell among the premier currently active American songwriters, the contributions he made as a member of Drive By-Truckers are no less impressive. Isbell’s final show took place at the Music Farm in Charleston, South Carolina and featured his compositions “Outfit” from Decoration Day and “Never Gonna Change,” “Danko/Manuel” and “The Day John Henry Died” from The Dirty South.

In the announcement revealing Isbell’s “extremely amicable” departure, Hood explained in part:

Jason joined our band, mid-tour, in the fall of 2001, shortly after the release of our fourth album (Southern Rock Opera). His impact on the band was immediate and profound, bringing an awe-inspiring combination of vocal range, guitar dexterity, and amazing songwriting and leading us into an era of creativity that has resulted in three albums that I will be proud of for as long as I live.

Life in a band is always a delicate balancing act of personal and musical chemistries. Having been in bands for most of my life, I still marvel that any band stays together for longer than a year. Especially if the band in question spends anywhere from 150-220 days a year on the road, as our band has done since 1998. That said, I have also likened this band to a family. A big, messy, sometimes dysfunctional one, but a family full of love all the same. It is in this spirit that I plan on Jason continuing to be a part of our lives wherever our roads and dreams take us in the immediate future.

Isbell’s immediate, tersely worded response seemed to reveal a less than “amicable” split, writing, “I am not in the Drive-By Truckers anymore. Go figure. I wish them luck. I will not answer questions about it. If I could change it … I would.”

In the years since leaving DBT, Isbell seemingly has squashed any residual animosity, and he has shared the stage with Hood, Cooley and the rest of the band on a number of occasions, including during a 2017 concert in his current hometown of Nashville.

Give a listen to Jason Isbell’s final appearance as a member of Drive-By Truckers featuring a cover of Wings’ “Let Me Roll It” and more via taper Gordon Wilson below:

Watch the below videos from the March 30 show at the Music Farm, Isbell’s second to last concert as a member of DBT:

The Living Bubba


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patchouliskye (See 3 videos)
Drive-By Truckers (See 36 videos)

Zip City


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patchouliskye (See 3 videos)
Drive-By Truckers (See 36 videos)

Women Without Whiskey


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patchouliskye (See 3 videos)
Drive-By Truckers (See 36 videos)

Setlist

Drive‐By Truckers at Music Farm

  • The Living Bubba
  • One of These Days
  • Never Gonna Change
  • Hell No, I Ain't Happy
  • Sounds Better in the Song
  • My Sweet Annette
  • Danko/Manuel
  • Lookout Mountain
  • Carl Perkins' Cadillac
  • Sink Hole
  • Let Me Roll It  
  • Tales Facing Up
  • Uncle Frank
  • Puttin' People on the Moon
  • Ronnie and Neil
  • Outfit
  • Zip City
  • Feb 14
  • Road Cases
Encore
  • The Southern Thing
  • Women Without Whiskey
  • The Day John Henry Died
  • Let There Be Rock
  • Buttholeville
  • Ain't Talkin' 'bout Love  

[Updated article, originally published March 31, 2017.]