jason

Daddy said the river would always lead me home
But the river can’t take me back in time
And Daddy’s dead and gone
The family farm’s a parking lot for Walton’s Five and Dime
Am I the last of my kind?
Am I the last of my kind?

The first song on Jason Isbell’s new album The Nashville Sound is calles The Last of My Kind. It has an I-narrator who does not recognize his hometown anymore in the age of globalization. That whole world’s a lonely faded picture in my mind. Isbell comes originally from Alabama and lives like many country or alt-country musicians in Nashville, Tennessee.

That whole world’s a lonely faded picture in my mind. No wonder that there are people who believe when a billionaire comes and says that he will restore anything and make that picture colorful again and yes, everything great again, like it was before Old men sleeping on the filthy groung and Nobody else here seems to care. 

There are many songs on Isbell’s Nashville Sound that deliver a kind of state of the union, not as angry as his former band Drive By Truckers delivered it with their masterpiece American Band a year ago, but nonetheless searching for what went wrong. Isbell and his bandmember and wife Amanda Shire have become parents to a daughter.

I’m a white man living in a white man’s world
Under our roof is a baby girl
I thought this world could be hers one day
But her momma knew better

White Man’s World is a conscious song about the fact that race continues to be an issue in the United States and that it probably got worse during the first year of the Trump presidency. The Black Lives Matter movement has been discredited and one of Trump’s first executive orders reinforced the work on the Dakota pipeline destroying the lands of the native Americans.

Anxiety is an impressive song about a man living a seemingly happily life, but has recurring panic attacks that destroy it all.

If We Were Vampires is a personal song to his wife Amanda about mortality and knowing that

It’s knowing that this can’t go on forever
Likely one of us will have to spend some days alone
Maybe we’ll get 40 years together
But one day I’ll be gone, one day you’ll be gone

The Nashville Sound is a masterly crafted of an artist in the middle of life who finishes this album with a hymn to life, Something To Love. 

I hope you find something to love
Something to do when you feel like giving up
A song to sing, a tale to tell
Something to love will serve you well

Amazing music.

 

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