#1065: 2013, Jason Isbell, Stockholm

by George_East on February 4, 2016

Although I am still revelling in the sheer number of superb gigs I went to in 2015, we are now in a new year and increasingly my mind is turning to the exciting gigs in the diary to come. My first taste of live music this year came a couple of Fridays back with Alabaman country-rocker Jason Isbell (formerly of the Drive-By Truckers) at the Forum in Kentish Town.

I saw Isbell a few years back in a small sweaty club in Chicago and it is great to see him now playing venues the size of the Forum. He has a big and rich voice that can comfortably fill the larger venue.  When I saw him last time Amanda Shires played violin in his backing band, the 400 Unit.  Since then Isbell and Shires have got married and they recently had a baby daughter.  Shires no longer plays in the band but is still recording her own stuff, which is worth checking out.

For my money Isbell’s quieter and more stripped back country numbers work better than the rockier material, which at times edges into Tap-esque guitar solos and Genesis-drums. The less rocky stuff allows for a focus on Isbell’s voice, which really is something special.

This was one of the highlights of the set. It was the second song he played and comes from his 2013 album, SouthEastern. It  may be the best song by a musician on tour in a foreign land about having an unbearable longing for his partner back home since Paul Weller penned The Jam’s English Rose.

Once a wise man to the ways of the world

Now I’ve traded those lessons for faith in a girl

Crossed the ocean, thousand years from my home

In this frozen old city of silver and stone

Ships in the harbour and birds on the bluff

Don’t move an inch when their anchor goes up

And the difference with me is

I’ve fallen in love

Stockholm let me go home’


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

John Stone February 5, 2016 at 8:43 am

Southeastern is an awesome album.


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