Jason Isbell is a man of his word. Last time he was in town, he promised a new album this coming spring. Sure enough, it was announced Friday that Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit will release the new album "Here We Rest" on April 12.
"I guess it's pretty obvious that I make more decisions now," said Isbell of his life since amicably leaving the Drive-By Truckers that boasts several songwriters. "I'm singing all night and writing all the songs."
That's given Isbell a true chance to shine and has won him major critical acclaim for his songwriting. If early critiques of the songs on "Here We Rest" are accurate, this album will bring more such accolades.
|IF YOU GO|
|Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit|
|» When: 8 p.m. doors, 9:30 p.m. show Friday|
|» Where: 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW|
|» Details: $15; 9:30.com; 800-955-5566|
The music on the album ranges from what's described as "soulful heartache" on the songs "We've Met" and "Save It For Sunday" to the country-infused folk of "Alabama Pines" and "Daisy Mae" and the old school R&B of Candi Staton's "Heart On A String."
Although the songs on the album are steeped in Southern rock tradition, the different flavorings likely aren't surprising when one considers Isbell's rich taste in music.
"I really like the Ting Tings," he said. "They are fun. I'm not crazy about [a lot of] hip-hop these days. I lot of hip-hop artists are not as creative as they were in the past. They are piling on guest appearances. MIA is doing some cool stuff, though, and Kid Cudi is a talented guy."
Although Isbell and his band will start a tour this spring behind the new album, now is the chance to get a sample of the new songs and more.
Isbell promises his latest concerts offer tastes of all his music, from songs he wrote for the Drive-By Truckers, to solo work to some of the tunes from the new album.
Overall, expect the concerts to be just plain fun.
"Right now, don't have anybody to take care of but myself and that's not a difficult thing to do," he said. "It's fun to be creative and run around the world with your friends and play music ... we want to share that [artistry] with our fans."