Isbell joined the Truckers a year after their two-disc opus Southern Rock Opera made them a buzz band in late 2001. The groups co-founders, Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley, were pushing 40. Isbell was barely in his 20s. Yet his contributions to 2003s Decoration Day -- particularly the reflective Outfit -- quickly became fan favorites, and Isbell was lauded for his wise-beyond-his-years songwriting. If I manage to say things right, its because Im honest about it, he says. I try to say it exactly how I feel.
Sirens of the Ditch doesnt sound all that different from Isbells songs on last years DBT CD, A Blessing and a Curse. They range from the gothic murder story Brand New Kind of Actress to Dress Blues, a requiem for a Marine from Isbells Alabama hometown. Former bandmates Hood, Shonna Tucker (also Isbells ex-wife), and Brad Morgan guest. Hood co-produced the album. Were still friends, says Isbell. And theres still a good chance well be making music together in the future. But I have other things to work on now.
Sun., July 22, 8:30 p.m.