Jason Isbell Keeps Promise to Georgia with ‘Georgia Blue’ Covers Album (ft. Brandi Carlile, Julien Baker, More)


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Rock Cellar Magazine
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On November 5th, 2020, singer-songwriter/musician

Jason Isbell made a promise on twitter:

“If Biden wins Georgia I’m gonna make a charity covers album of my favorite Georgia songs – REM, Gladys Knight, Vic Chesnutt, Allmans, Cat Power, Precious Bryant, Now It’s Overhead, etc… And damn is that gonna be fun”

Well it happened, and it happened. Isbell and his band the 400 Unit are releasing “Georgia Blue,” an album chock-full of great music by Georgia musicians and/or Georgia-related songs, on Southeastern Records.

Isbell calls Georgia Blue “a labor of love” to thank the state, and he’s donating proceeds raised by album sales and streams to three charities: the Georgia voting-rights organization “Fair Fight,” the Black Voters Matter Fund, and the social justice organization “Georgia STAND-UP.”

The album will be released on Nov. 26.

Click here to pre-order Georgia Blue by Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit on CD from our Rock Cellar Store

There are many stand-out covers on this album, including a couple by R.E.M. like “Driver 8” – featuring guitar and backing vocals by John Paul White, former member of The Civil Wars:

And “Nightswimming” with help from Chris Thile (Nickel Creek, Punch Brothers) and Bela Fleck:

Isbell also enlisted Brandi Carlile and Julien Baker to help him with a cover of the Indigo Girls’ heart-aching ballad “Kid Fears” – Isbell taking the 3rd harmony part originally sung by R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe.

Isbell calls these his favorite Georgia-related songs, but admits that “the tracklist is not meant to be comprehensive. I would love to cover Outkast and 2 Chainz, but I don’t think the finished product would be very good. We’re a rock band, so we covered rock songs.”

You can listen to all the tracks to “Georgia Blue” here on Spotify:

A blue vinyl edition will be available exclusively for independent record stores on Record Store Day – Black Friday.


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