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"Sirens Of The Ditch"
Former DRIVE-BY TRUCKER Guitarist & Songwriter Releases Debut Solo Album on New West Records ~

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Jason Isbell - Irish Tour
28 March Dolans - Limerick
29 March - Cyprus Avenue - Cork
30 March - Roisin Dubh - Galway
1 April - Whelans - Dublin

Accomplished guitarist and songwriter Jason Isbell, formerly of the Drive By Truckers (DBT), releases his debut solo album Sirens Of The Ditch, on New West Records. Elements of rock, blues and soul are evident in the 11 diverse songs, all penned by Isbell. From the rock driven opener “Brand New Kind Of Actress” to the tender “Dress Blues” Isbell’s gift for song writing and striking lyrics is apparent.Listeners caught glimpses of Isbell’s skills on DBT records with tracks like “Danko/Manuel” and “Outfit.”

Sirens Of The Ditch’s mystical quality can be partially attributed to the FAME recording studio (Aretha Franklin, Duane Allman, Otis Redding) in Isbell’s hometown of Muscle Shoals, AL where the album was recorded. “A lot of old soul musicians came through here in the late ’60s and ’70s and helped define the Muscle Shoals sound,” the lifelong Alabamian explains, “so that influence was always in my environment, but on this record I really tried to capture that.”

Co-produced by Isbell and Patterson Hood (DBT), Sirens Of The Ditch features Isbell singing lead vocals and playing guitar throughout, joined by Shonna Tucker (DBT) on Bass and Brad Morgan (DBT) on drums. Several musicians pop in for cameos including Spooner Oldham and David Hood (Patterson’s father) on “Down In A Hole,” John Neff (DBT) on “Dress Blues” and Patterson himself guests on “Shotgun Wedding.”

1. Brand New Kind Of Actress
2. Down In A Hole
3. Try
4. Chicago Promenade
5. Dress Blues
6. Grown
7. Hurricanes and Hand Grenades
8. In A Razor Town
9. Shotgun Wedding
10. The Magician
11. The Devil Is My Running Mate

"Sirens Of The Ditch"
(New West Records)
“If I die before I’m old, my story will be less than told.”
(Taken from “Chicago Promenade”)

Jason Isbell may still be young, but he’s packed an enormous amount of musical experience into his 28 years. Growing up in a family of musicians, he absorbed everything he heard and began channeling it into guitar at age six and piano at 12. For the past six years, Isbell was one of three frontmen for the critically acclaimed Drive-By Truckers (DBT)—and although fans may have been shocked by his leaving the band in April, once you hear his solo debut Sirens Of The Ditch (which was co-produced by Isbell and DBT’s Patterson Hood) it will only confirm that Isbell has his own unique voice. Musicians joining Isbell on the album include DBT’s Shonna Tucker (bass) and Brad Morgan (drums) with cameos from Patterson Hood, his father David Hood, Spooner Oldham, John Neff and more.

Recorded over the past four years at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals (Aretha Franklin, Duane Allman, Otis Redding), Sirens Of The Ditch is a diverse collection of songs that incorporates elements of rock, blues and soul music into a heartfelt mix of songs that favor piano and pedal steel over buzzing guitars—although, don’t worry, there’s a fair share of overdriven amps as well. “A lot of old soul musicians came through here in the late ’60s and ’70s and helped define the Muscle Shoals sound,” the lifelong Alabamian explains, “so that influence was always in my environment, but on this record I really tried to capture that.”

“I think in a lot of ways these songs are different than the stuff I wrote for the Truckers,” Isbell explains from his home in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, a few days before leaving for a solo tour supporting alt-country legends, Son Volt. “Usually when I write, it’s pretty obvious if I’m writing a Truckers song or I’m writing a song for some other purpose,” he continues. “Sirens Of The Ditch is more of a power-pop record than what the Truckers would normally write. The songs are more hook-oriented and they’re not necessarily as story-driven.”

While driving rock numbers like the opener “Brand New Kind Of Actress” evoke Isbell’s previous band, there’s a remarkable amount of variance inherent on Sirens Of The Ditch. For example, “Chicago Promenade” is a heartfelt, piano-driven ballad that’s a paean to the past as much as it is a hopeful glance toward the future; “Hurricanes & Hand Grenades” is a classic Muscle Shoals soul track that showcases Isbell’s tender tenor; and the acoustically driven “In A Razor Town” continues the folk tradition pioneered by artists like Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie, but recontextualized through Isbell’s decidedly pop paradigm.

Although Sirens Of The Ditch may be more tender musically, that doesn’t mean the lyrics are any less striking that what Isbell has penned in the past. “There are definitely some political overtones on this record,” Isbell explains, clearly referring to the song “Dress Blues.” “I’m really proud of that song because it seems to affect people in a certain way,” Isbell elaborates. “It was one of those where you sit down and the story was already there, so I just told it the best way I knew how.”

Essentially, that statement is as good as any to describe what Sirens Of The Ditch is all about. “I guess I tried in some ways to write a record that sounded more pop-oriented, but still talked about darker issues,” Isbell summarizes. “ I can’t help it, that’s just want I’m drawn to.”

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