Roots man Isbell confirms summer gig

Alabama-born artist Jason Isbell will be performing in August.
Alabama-born artist Jason Isbell will be performing in August.

Award-winning Americana singer-songwriter Jason Isbell is to perform a special acoustic show in Lerwick this summer.

The Alabama-born artist, formerly a member of southern US rock band the Drive-By Truckers, will be joined on fiddle and vocals by his wife Amanda Shires for the Tuesday 5th August concert.

Isbell won an Americana Music Association Award in 2012 for his song Alabama Pines, and last year’s solo album Southeastern has been widely hailed as his finest collection to date.

This year has seen the 35-year-old sharing the stage with country great Willie Nelson and bluegrass star Alison Krauss. In 2012 he toured extensively with alternative country singer Ryan Adams.

Isbell joined the Drive-By Truckers in 2001 and spent six years writing and recording with the band, contributing some of their best loved songs including Outfit, Danko/Manuel and The Day John Henry Died.

Since 2007 he has released a string of albums under his own name and with his band The 400 Unit, showcasing his powerful and searingly honest vocals and songs. That was followed by the release of Southeastern last summer – a mostly stripped-down affair marking a departure from some of his louder earlier records.

It contains Travelling Alone (a duet featuring Shires’ voice and violin), murder ballad Live Oak and the powerful Elephant.

The show at Mareel has been organised by Ragged Wood Promotions in association with Shetland Arts. Local support will come from mother-and-son duo Sheila Duncan and Joe Watt, while Shires will also play a short set of her own material.

Promoter Neil Riddell said: “We are really excited that Jason and Amanda are coming to Shetland. Jason is fast acquiring a reputation as one of America’s most talented roots writers, and they are both terrific live performers.”


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