Jason Isbell Archive

Artist Spotlight: Will Stewart

Artist Spotlight: Will Stewart
by Josh Matthews
photo: Wes Frazer

Declared as “one of the top 10 artists you must know in 2018,” by Rolling Stone Magazine, local musican Will Stewart exploded onto the music scene with his release County Seat on Cornelius Chapel Records. It just doesn’t feel that way in his home of Birmingham, AL, but that’s alright. Because Will prefers it that way. Since the release of County Seat, Will’s purchased a van. He’s toured a lot more. A whole heck of a lot more. And he wears a mustache. That’s also new. Everything else, though, is just business as usual. You may have seen Will perform recently at Seasick Records, Sloss Music & Art’s Festival or Secret Stages, but if you weren’t looking for him, his quiet and modest demeanor could easily give cause to missing him. But if you were listening, then you would understand why everyone who listens to Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton or Nathaniel Ratelief has County Seat in their record collection.

Here’s what was written recently about County Seat:

“Released in 2017, County Seat is a guitar-fueled Americana record, caught somewhere between the worlds of country and electrified rock. The songs are roomy and lush,  the result of an…

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Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit, Richard Thompson

Sunday, May 6 8:00 pmTickets: $58, $43.50, $30.50Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit’s new album, The Nashville Sound, is a beautiful piece of American music-making, but watch yourself: it will light a fire under your ass. “You’re still breathing, it’s not too late,” Jason sings.

This album is a call, and the songs on it send sparks flying into a culture that’s already running so hot the needle on the temperature gauge is bouncing erratically in the red. And while it’s understandable that, in this moment, some people want their radio to help them drift away, this finely calibrated set of ten songs is aimed right between the clear eyes of people who prefer to stay present and awake. It’s a call to those who won’t cower no matter how erratically the world turns, and who aren’t afraid of what looks back when they look in the mirror. Bruce Springsteen did that. Neil Young did that. Jason Isbell does that. There are songs on this album that cut to the chase. “Last year was a son of a bitch for nearly everyone we know,” Isbell sings on the album’s first single, “Hope the High Road.” “But I…

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Jason Isbell with special guest Josh Ritter

Jason Isbell with special guest Josh Ritter

Every once in a while, and not that often, a popular musician comes along whose work is both profoundly personal and evocative of the larger moment, merging the specifics of lived experience in a particular time and place to the realities of our shared journey as a community, a people. The work of such artists as Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, and Kurt Cobain – and now Jason Isbell, I would argue, with his new album Something More Than Free – spreads irresistibly outward from the soul, that private well of vision and emotion, into the broader realm of cultural history, sharpening our ability to see, expanding our ability to feel, and restoring our sense that we belong not only to ourselves but to an extended spiritual family. The songs create a space to be together, and closer together than we were before.

To fans and the music press, the personal story surrounding Isbell’s last, breakthrough album,Southeastern, is widely known and easily reprised. A troubled young troubadour, newly married, stepped away from the darkness of addiction into a new, uncertain life of clarity and commitment, reflecting ruefully on his hard won victories and the price he paid attaining them. …

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Hangout Music Festival

Hangout Music Festival

Hangout Music Festival

Gulf Shores, AL
May 20 – 22, 2016

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Featuring:

The Weeknd    Calvin Harris    Florence + The Machine    Alabama Shakes    Ellie Goulding    Lenny Kravitz    Flume    Haim    Cage the Elephant    Panic! at the Disco    The Chainsmokers    Grimes    Jason Isbell    Leon Bridges    Walk the Moon    Foals    Fetty Wap   and more…

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www.hangoutmusicfest.com

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