Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit Reach Weave Passionate Tales of Life, Love and Self-Reflection with Powerful New Album ‘Reunions’ (Listen)


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Rock Cellar Magazine
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Jason Isbell recorded his entire new album with the 400 Unit, Reunions, without a capo. No, seriously, he promises he didn’t use one.

Wild, huh?

The record was released on Friday, finds the esteemed country/folk singer/songwriter at his absolute best, flanked by his band the 400 Unit: Derry deBorja (piano, keyboard, organ, omnichord), Chad Gamble (drums, tambourine), Jimbo Hart (bass), Amanda Shires (fiddle) and Sadler Vaden (acoustic guitar, electric guitar).

Background vocals are also provided by David Crosby and Jay Buchanan (of Rival Sons).

Songs like “Dreamsicle” hit like a ton of bricks, lyrically:

I guess we’re leaving town again
We’re moving out and moving in
Gotta break the news to all my friends
But they won’t care

They’ll just find another face
To fall behind, to take my place
To run way out past second base
And just stand there 

In celebration of the album’s release, Jason Isbell and wife/band mate Amanda Shires will host a special livestream event today, May 15, from the Brooklyn Bowl in Nashville.

Tune in at 8:00pm ET/7:00pm CT. The stream, hosted by FANS, is free to the public with a suggested donation to support Isbell’s crew as well as the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund.

Said Isbell of the Reunions album:

“There are a lot of ghosts on this album. Sometimes the songs are about the ghosts of people who aren’t around anymore, but they’re also about who I used to be, the ghost of myself. I found myself writing songs that I wanted to write fifteen years ago, but in those days, I hadn’t written enough songs to know how to do it yet. Just now have I been able to pull it off to my own satisfaction.  In that sense it’s a reunion with the me I was back then.” 

Overall, Reunions packs an emotional punch, the melancholy of Isbell’s lyrics matching with some top-tier country/folk to create one of the year’s strongest records.

Stream it below.


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