Why not invite your favourite independent musician to play for your friends family and his fans in your front room, I’ll be surprised if he/she won’t show up sometime this year and play for you, let me know about it and if The Medicine Show Radio Moose Mobile is loose is near enough we’ll come and broadcast it too. If you would like to help keep the wheels on the Hub and on The Moose become a patron at
Happy Hosting, Happy New Year - Rob Ellen
While nothing beats a new album, I will for the moment settle for this superb wall-to-wall live recording from Country Americana act Jason Isbell and his band, the 400 Unit (electric lead guitar, drums, bass guitar, keyboards and drums). One that also features the roving fiddle of his wife, and fellow recording act Amanda Shires. With Isbell feeling completely at home at Nashville’s famed Ryman Auditorium, himself and the combo aren’t afraid to push the buttons, and crank it up tastily.
Formerly of the band Drive-By Truckers Isabell has in the past had his problems and, isn’t afraid to share them. Along side them and shrewd observations about everyday life and the state of the world make up the 13 song set. Songs high on the list include White Man’s World, Hope The High Road and with sensitive fiddle warming the introduction Flagship. On cranking it up he offers up sensational versions of material you could justifiably label as ‘best of Jason Isbell’s knockout tunes 24 Frames, Cumberland Gap, Last Of My Kind and Super 8; as he speaks of not wanting to die in one of their motels (because somebody’s evening didn’t go so well) are as good as it gets. Some artists would feel proud to have a couple of Isbell’s songs in their locker never mind the fistful of gems you have here. Hence, the listener has a number of tracks where they will be enticed to play the track again a couple of times before moving onto another killer!
Among the songs where he either asks questions or digs into the mind Isbell has Elephant and Hope The High Road plus the seven minute epic aforementioned Last Of My Kind as he speaks of falling on hard times and those that are homeless before it’s time to close the show. Starting with impassioned and moody ode Cover Me Up (another track that lists one of the times he wished he hadn’t been the central figure). Then there’s the energy charged Super 8 and classic piece of writing if every there was If We Were Vampires. If confirmation was needed, it alone will put to bed any doubt of his incredible talent. As he looks at his own life and relationship with his wife, and of what the long term future might bring. It’s a beautifully penned number, and in its way, a unique piece that weaves an abundance of heartfelt lyrics. No matter one’s mood Live At The Opry offers something, and it is usually more than just good!
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