Special eTown Taping at Red Rocks Amphitheatre: Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit
- When: September 7, 2017 Time: 6:00 pm - 11:30 pm
- Where: Red Rocks Amphitheatre / 18300 W Alameda Pkwy, Morrison, CO 80465
- Cost: $40 - $45 Plus applicable service fees
eTown is thrilled to be heading back to Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre on September 7th, this time to record one of the finest singer/songwriters working at the intersection of folk, country and rock today, Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit.
Doors at 6:00pm
Show at 7:30pm
Every year, eTown partners with AEG Live to create a remarkable radio show from one of the world’s most spectacular concert venues. We’ll be doing the interviews with the artists backstage, so the live show will be uninterrupted. Come join us if you can as eTown, Colorado’s longest running national radio show, teams up with Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit for an amazing night of music under the stars.
Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit
Jason Isbell, one of the finest singer-songwriters working at the intersection of folk, country and rock today, has proven himself to be adept at the exacting art of mapping out the territory between those poles. He's written of disillusioned souls tethered to people and places by a sense of obligation; of restless types confronting the fact that they've changed in ways that render them unrecognizable to people back home; of those who wring satisfaction from withstanding lives of limited options. His songs have an exquisite, rawboned realism and deeply embedded class-consciousness, partly because he's dedicated himself to cultivating his literary gift and partly because it's often been the contours of his own life, begun in the hardscrabble setting of rural, northern Alabama, and the lives of people he understands, that he's tracing.
Journalists and fans latched onto the autobiographical narratives around his most beloved albums to date: Southeastern (the fruit of his falling in love with his artistic and intellectual equal, Amanda Shires and adjusting to newly achieved sobriety) and Something More Than Free (informed by his embrace of domesticity, stability and contentment with Shires).
The Nashville Sound, Isbell's sixth studio album — produced by Dave Cobb and arranged in the moment at historic RCA Studio A with Isbell's brawnily virtuosic band The 400 Unit (featuring guitarist Sadler Vaden, keyboardist Derry deBorja, bassist Jimbo Hart, drummer Chad Gamble and Shires on fiddle) — arrives on the heels of a major life event, too; Isbell and Shires' daughter, Mercy, was born in 2015, so he wrote and recorded the album having experienced his first taste of fatherhood.
But the perspective that animates these 10 songs is a deliberately enlarged, newly awakened one. In an interview for an upcoming NPR story, Isbell was self-deprecating about expanding his repertoire: "Finally you get all of those things [in your life] dealt with. What are you gonna talk about now? You can't moan, and you can't sing the blues anymore. So you have to figure out how to empathize, better than you've ever done."
Isbell named the album for a lush, sweetened approach to record-making that was meant to help country music compete in the popular landscape of the early rock 'n' roll era, a production style famously associated with RCA Studio A. His take on the Nashville Sound proceeds from more or less the opposite philosophy; he couldn't be less concerned with making his music go down easy. With eyes clear and nerves jangled, he's wrestling with unpleasant social and political realities. He's hardly the first singer-songwriter to take up these concerns, but coming from him, with his gift for representing people who exist worlds away from elite, abstracted discourse, it's a vantage with visceral impact.