Jason Isbell lets his Sirens wail

Former Trucker performs cuts from brilliant debut

click to enlarge Jason Isbell - Tim Bugbee
Tim Bugbee
Jason Isbell

Jason Isbell split from modern Southern rock kings the Drive-By Truckers last year, which, instead of sucking, has turned into a win-win for DBT fans. Isbell's debut disc, Sirens of the Ditch, has all the markings of a great DBT album — twang, bang and intelligence — but with more of a Stax soul vibe, ranking as one of the finest releases of '07. (Not to be outdone, DBT, which played Jannus Landing a couple weeks back, issued the equally brilliant Brighter Than Creation's Dark this year.) Isbell, who played Crowbar in August, has since released Live at Twist & Shout. The EP finds Isbell and his four-piece, The 400 Unit, performing powerful renditions of songs from Sirens, Isbell-penned DBT numbers and a truly gorgeous reading of Van Morrison's "Into the Mystic."

REAX 2nd Anniversary Party: Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit w/Thomas Wynn & The Believers/The Beauvilles/Matt Butcher/Will Quinlan & The Diviners, 8 p.m. Sat., May 31, Crowbar, Ybor City, $10 (advance), $13 (at the door).

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