The opening “Look Like a Bird” is defined by her voice and the song’s melody.Instruments only enter when necessary, and her fiddle often drones in the background like feedback or a keyboard.
Now living in Nashville and dating musician Amanda Shires, Isbell is still actively touring behind his band’s acclaimed 2011 album, Here We Rest. You hear those things, and six months later, they either happen or they don’t, but I’d like to record that. For someone who’s never come to your show, what can they expect? I think it might surprise people how much energy and volume is at those shows because we really are a rock ‘n’ roll band at heart. It’s definitely a rock show, unless I’m playing by myself.
Jason Isbell says his hometown of Greenhill, Ala., is so small, there’s no post office. I think I may try to record some in September or October and get started on another record.
Those wide open spaces of northern Alabama have certainly crept into his music, first as a member of Drive-By Truckers and now as lead singer and principal songwriter in Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit. Do you feel you fit into the Americana world pretty well? Most of the time, artists don’t really like it when you put a label on them but if it’s got to be something, I would much rather affiliate with people like Emmylou Harris and Buddy Miller and Gillian Welch.
But she is front and centre stage with her solo album Carrying Lightning and it's where she deserves to be.
Her playing is good - on fiddle, violin, ukulele and even whistling (there's a lovely old sound when it's done well as here) and her voice, with its West Texas twang, is expressive and deft.