Pullin’ ‘Tubes | Jason Isbell Is Traveling Alone

It’s hard to argue with the observation that during the middle part of the aughts the Drive-By Truckers were a force to be reckoned with. The Athens, GA-based band were impressing audiences with their fiery live shows, while releasing a string of critically-acclaimed albums that put a modern face on Southern rock, nodding not only to obvious influences like Lynyrd Skynyrd, Son Volt and Whiskeytown, but also to ones like R.E.M. and The Replacements. For a few short years the meaty act featured a trio of formidable songwriters – Patterson Hood, Mike Cooley and Jason Isbell – who built a reputation for penning heady socio-political tunes about living in and growing up in the South.

So it may have come as a surprise to Truckers’ fans when Isbell decided to part ways with the band back in 2007 to head down the solo path, just as the band was experiencing some of the biggest successes of their career. Wasting no time Isbell released his solo debut Sirens Of The Ditch that year. Backed by what would become known as the 400 Unit, the gritty, country-tinged Southern rock album not only showcased Isbell’s songwriting, but his powerful and tender vocals.

After putting out two more studio albums and a pair of live releases with the 400 Unit, Isbell has returned to the “solo” format for his fourth record – Southeastern – which was released earlier this summer. The 12-track effort is a brilliant album filled with world-weary songs that is a shining example of what a modern country music album should sound like. Recently Isbell released the plaintive music video for the record’s lead single “Traveling Alone,” let’s check it out:

Jason Isbell will kick off the U.S. leg of his fall tour at the Bluebird Theater in Denver, CO on September 4, which will feature support from recent Blips act T. Hardy Morris.

Written By: Jeffrey Greenblatt