As I have said in previous blogs; I am an old rocker and over the past 45 or so years have dabbled in a diversity of music ranging from 50’s Golden Oldies, to progressive rock, to rockabilly, to soul and disco. For example, the first albums (on eight track) I ever bought were Orange Blossom Special by Johnny Cash and Tapestry by Carol King. The first vinyl album I ever bought was Brothers and Sister by the Allman Brothers.
While they are not my favorite band nor even a super group, I’ve always used the Doobie Brothers as the standard by which I measured all bands. I’ve always thought they were a complete bland. Their electric music was tempered by acoustic virtuosity.
In recent years I’ve been listening to Jason Isbell and for my money he meets the Doobie Brothers test. His acoustic guitar is as well executed as Toulouse Street. Of particular notice is Isbell’s work on Hudson Commodore off the Something More Than Free album. The electric and acoustic blend in Tupelo off the album The Nashville Sound from Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit is a moving and sweeping song.
Isbell doesn’t boom any of his songs. They are simply designed, wrought, and delivered. If you are looking for embellished vocal riffs, falsetto done for falsetto’s sake, and over-singing you won’t find it here. Rather you will find great songs, with deep universal meanings, well delivered, and competently sang.
So I guess the point is if you like your music with a bit of lyric virtuosity and superb guitar work, this may be the guy for you.