Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit

Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit
As part of the potent triple singer-songwriter threat that fuelled a superb string of albums by Southern rock heroes Drive-By Truckers, Jason Isbell had solid achievements under his belt before going solo. His 2007 debut, Sirens Of The Ditch, seemed a little unfocused but his multiple strengths coalesce nicely on this more impressive sophomore outing. Isbell doesn't have the smoothest voice but its ragged integrity shines through on such strong ballads as "Sunstroke," "Cigarettes And Wine," "Streetlights" and, most notably, stone cold killer cut "No Choice In The Matter." From its twangy, Joe South-style guitar licks to lusty horns, this is Southern soul sung with true conviction. He lives real close to the famed Muscle Shoals studio and has seemingly absorbed its sound. Tracks like "Soldiers Get Strange" and "However Long" have some of that DBT-style guitar rock with a social conscience, while "Coda" is a moody short instrumental. Isbell's band-mates chime in with subtly sympathetic accompaniment, while his fluent fretwork sparkles on closing cut "The Last Song I Will Write." Let's hope that song title isn't prophetic! (Lightning Rod)