Jason Isbell on Twitter: "It's a good thing to waste time with"
Jason Isbell, playing Tuesday at the Boulder Theater and Wednesday at the Ogden, embodies all the traditions, influences and stories that make up Southern folk and country. He was raised in rural Alabama and immediately took to singing and playing guitar. He toured and wrote with Drive By Truckers. He got married, divorced and re-married. He spent many years on stage with a bottle of Jack Daniels in his hand and now has just a couple under his belt without it. Over those years he's become a master storyteller, mixing his smooth Alabama accent with complex guitar melodies and traditional country themes that will make you weep, fondly reminisce on old loves and adventures, clap-along, or just yearn to spend time in a bar with one of the characters he creates.
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But Isbell doesn't do all his storytelling in the recording booth. Actually nowadays, even more of it happens online, as he tweets quips as intelligent as his lyrics, all from his phone.
"I just have a lot of free time and it's a good thing to waste time with," Isbell says. "That's about as far as I think to it. I like Twitter because I can participate in a conversation as much as I want to or you can just be shy. It's nice, I've met some cool people that way."
When he isn't making fans laugh with his commentary on everything from Canadian Subway's to the World Cup, he's continually trying to bring stories to life through music. More often now with his wife, Amanda Shires. The two just recorded a stripped-down and haunting cover of "Born in the U.S.A" for Lightning Rod Records.
"That's the one [song] that appealed most to me because it's not what everybody thinks it's about," Isbell says about the song choice. "You know it's a protest song but became an anthem for a lot of folks who don't pay attention to the lyrics. So we wanted to record it and maybe force people to pay attention to what Bruce was actually saying when he wrote it."