Jason Isbell

Making his name as part of Southern alt-rockers Drive-By Truckers in the early 2000s, Jason Isbell has gone on to become a highly acclaimed singer-songwriter and win a Grammy Award for his solo album 'Something More Than Free'. Raised in the small rural village of Green Hill in North Alabama, USA, his love of music was sparked by his grandfather, a Pentecostal preacher who taught him mandolin and guitar, introduced him to gospel songs and blues music. In his teenage years he played in garage bands with Chris Thompson (now a songwriter in Nashville) before his demo tape of original songs landed him a job working at the legendary FAME studios, from where the Muscle Shoals sound originated. At 22 he joined Drive-By Truckers (already established as rootsy, Americana cult favourites) for their third record 'Southern Rock Opera', but after six years of long tours and acclaimed albums his marriage had broken down, he had developed a drinking problem and the band fired him. His debut solo album 'Sirens in a Ditch' was recorded at FAME with Spooner Oldham and two more albums of country-blues swagger followed, but it took a stint in rehab and marriage to his second wife, violinist Amanda Shires, before he re-emerged sober and cathartic on 'Southeastern' in 2012. After winning the Grammy for Best Americana Album, his follow-up 'Something More Than Free' was widely acclaimed as his finest work and reached number six in the charts. It would lead to John Mayer describing him as 'the best lyricist of his generation' and was championed by Bruce Springsteen and John Prine, before returning in 2017 with his sixth solo album 'The Nashville Sound'.

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