Jason Isbell drives solo at the Beachland on Friday, Februay 15.
When Jason Isbell
split from the Drive-By Truckers a year ago, bloggers were buzzing with rumors. Isbell had recently divorced Shonna Tucker, who plays bass in the Truckers. Did that have something to do with it? Isbell, who’s 29, was the baby of the group. Frontmen Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley are in their early 40s. Maybe that had something to do with the split?
Turns out, Isbell was doing what most singer-songwriters in bands do: He went solo so he could perform his own songs all the time. (Read Hannah Levin’s interview with Isbell
in this week’s Scene for details.)
Isbell’s solo record, Sirens of the Ditch
, takes on the same themes the Truckers often write about: love, loss, despair, and drinking way too much. It’s a twang-filled slice of Americana that even makes room for one of last year’s best protest songs, “Dress Blues” -- which takes a more personal approach to the genre, centering on some guy (a husband and soon-to-be father) from Isbell’s hometown who was killed in Iraq. -- Michael Gallucci
Jason Isbell performs at 9 p.m. Friday, February 15, at the Beachland Ballroom, 15711 Waterloo Road. Tickets are $14, $12 in advance. Call 216-383-1124 for more information. For a preview, listen to “Dress Blues” below.