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Late Doors

Jason Isbell , Brudenell Social Club

Former Drive By Truckers linchpin now on a solo route with assorted friends after leaving the band on 2007. To me, he is the archetypal southern rocker mixing classic deep south rock and country guitar licks with introspective personal lyrics that tell a bigger grandiose story through smart analogies and poetic prose. Lay that on some smouldering rhythm and expert  playing, throw in heaps of soul and introspective honesty, a dash of humour and humanity,  in the Brude, for two hours right in front of you and you have the perfect gig. Contrast that with the hour at the Fall gig last week where i felt a bit cheated. I'm not saying i prefer Jason's music to the fall, i probably don't  but as a live performance give me this anytime.

Four of us from Hudders joined the Butts and Lebs in the capacity crowd of around 500. Not a good start as all the real ale had sold out just before show time so i took my pint of san Miguel near to the front as the rest of the chin stroking hudders brigade remained at the back. The Brude is one of those places i feel i need to be near the front. The sound is just so good and clear even at high volumes.

Two guitars, a Gibson SG and some unknown hollowed les Paul type that Jason used along with an acoustic. Bass, drums and keyboard complete the line up and we were into two hours of wonderful, lifting and evocative landscape music. I say landscape because that is what it paints to me; internal and external landscapes  filled with nuance and  detail.

He threw in a few DBT songs that were obviously crowd pleasers but a lot of the set was unknown to me. It was paced and dynamically smooth. A mid section of acoustic introspect was a gripping treat to me but ponderous according to my mate Shaun whom Si and  I had to disagree with on the way back home. I got the latest cd anyroad on the strength of it. We are talking about a bloke who had status quo on in the car on the way over mindst.

A great encore as well taking us way past the 11pm close alas not including Candy Statton's young hearts run free as enthusiastically and boldly requested by a certain member of the crowd.
smiling badger

How on earth are you going to get time to take in the World Cup and Cricket when you are off gig going every other day/night?
Nice write up by the way.
Plastic Man

Re: Jason Isbell , Brudenell Social Club

Thank you for an entertaining report.

Late Doors wrote:
Two guitars, a Gibson SG and some unknown hollowed les Paul type that Jason used along with an acoustic.


Of late, you appear to be taking a much keener interest in the minutiae of the guitarist's set-up in particular.

I look forward to the next report, which I anticipate will include, "...and I noticed that on the third number he tuned his top E-string half a tone higher to accommodate innovative fingering of a tricky Ebdim7 chord..."
Late Doors

a drop D tuning or open is all i can muster or understand

Yeah, i love guitars, have done most of my life, the look, feel, associated paraphernalia and most of all the sound. Trouble is i love listening to them so much i dont get enough time to practice and do my own playing.
Late Doors

New album Something More Than Free is nigh on a masterpiece. Possibly the best of that Americana type genre I've heard although I'm no guru on it.

11 slices of beautiful poetic introspect where he casts a roving mirror on his past and weaves tales of broken bonds and lost relations with his current fragile contentment along with bigger themes of national decline. All no doubt created among the new found pastures of his cleaned up sobriety. Some of it heartbreaking, some hopefull bridge building and some bridges broken forever.  lyrically captivating, rich in suggestion and wonderfully sensitive musicianship, i cant stop playing  or ruminating on it.

It helps when music also talks to you on a personal level. Just like Rod Stewart did, then Joe Strummer and all those other life soundtracks. Jason Isbell is doing the same right now.

He's on in Manchester in January. You going Butts ?
Butts

Late Doors wrote:


He's on in Manchester in January. You going Butts ?


I prefer the album before this one and it's at a bigger venue so I'll give it a miss I think. This one just doesn't have the personality of the last.
Late Doors

 I love Southeastern too but its let down by a few weak points. A couple of fillers. One man's personality is another's imperfection i suppose

To me, on this album he's elevated himself onto the highest level. Not a weak spot on the entire album. I think i know what you mean by personality but he's gone beyond that now and the music just speaks for itself
Late Doors

Well Butts, you missed a belting treat mate but Christ that first half on Saturday against Bristol City was the nearest I've ever been to falling asleep stood up. I was already thinking about the gig later on that night.

Met Mrs D at Hudders train station and fifty minutes later the other lads in the Salisbury on Oxford road round the corner from the Manchester Ritz. They were all suitably relaxed having spent the day in Manchester whilst I had only just stepped up from the slumber of Elland road.

MrsD and I went upstairs. I lent at the back whilst she weaved into a more unobstructed viewpoint just ahead. Two hours later we all rendezvoused outside completely elated in the post gig buzz of wonderful uplifting live music. It was a massive sell out, a fabulously adoring crowd you often get at the Ritz yet only 18 months ago he struggled to fill the Brude. The two latest albums have catapulted the lad into semi stardom. Not surprising, they are perfect partners of whatever that genre is.  Alt country ,Americana? whatever, just brilliant rock n roll to me. I know Butts prefers Southeastern but Something More than Free just edges it for me on account of its Zero weaker material. It seems also a fair portion of the crowd might prefer his early DBT stuff judging from the reactions to Fathers Day, Decoration Day and a couple of others. Jason himself also seemed happier to play them than he appeared last time at the Brude. Maybe the recognition of his solo albums have put him at ease with his past as well has his recent sobriety seems to finally have done.

We got in just in time for the openers Stockholm and a groovy Palmero Rose where he, the band and the audience established themselves into the set. Something more than Free then took it to the next level as a happy, relaxed  but intensely expressive Jason laid it all out. From then on it was simply euphoric in that way only live music can be.

Im tired of Travelling alone he sang in-between the DBT songs Then lovingly wrung out the last half of the set with songs mainly from the last two albums acoustically and with the band. The biographical Cover me Up had sections of the crowd wooping and shouting in perhaps recovering empathy, certainly consolidatory adulation.

"But I made it through, cause somebody knew I was meant for someone
So girl, leave your boots by the bed we ain't leaving this room
Till someone needs medical help or the magnolias bloom
It's cold in this house and I ain't going out to chop wood
So cover me up and know you're enough to use me for good"

"If it takes a lifetime" was the perfect following partner to the song.
Musically the band were balanced and lean in so far as there were no strings. The strings on the album replaced with sensitive keyboard and terrifically subtle and decorative guitar. Jason himself occasionally  bursting in with the gruffer but beautifull searing anguished lead guitar statements.

Speed trap town and Children of Children, both homages to parents everywhere in different ways I think brought things to an end before the encore. Elephant was just mesmerizingly and emotionally tugging whilst Super 8 hotel  rocked out the finale. I caught MrsD giving me a mock frown as Jason sang Don't want to die in a Super 8 Motel in reference to my stag do in the Super 8 Austin.

We assembled outside all separately loving it and I think I spent the entire Train trip home singing it all again in my head. Magnificent, and it's just been announced he is on at Green Man this year
Dock

Good write up LD. As a berometer of what's worth listening to, I rely a lot on end-of-year round ups in Mojo etc (unlike you and Gambo I'm not out every other night at speakeasy's and discotheque's at the forefront of all things new) so I tend to catch things a while later after everybody else, and JI's latest long player is on my list. In Decembers Mojo there was a very favourable write up of a gig he did at Nashvilles Ryman Auditorium. I might have to get The Southeastern album as well after reading this thread.
Late Doors

Yep, perfect partner for it and i think the two have to heard together
Dock

"And the line between right and wrong was so fine"

The above being a lyric from the first song on the 'Something More Than Free' album. For me it also sums up how I feel about the album. Some great songs, playing, and vocal performances but some of the songs are a short line dance away from a startched Stetson. Especially 'The Life You Chose', it's fucking awful, one that must have had the suits in the Nashville bland-country music machine salavating at the songs 'crossover' potential between the Americana crowd and the Alan Jackson/Garth Brooks cretins.

I love the album but I'm not with LD re his rapturous reviews. It's very good but not great. Looking forward to buying 'Southeastern'.

PS And as for the lyric:

You see, a hammer finds a nail
And a freight train needs the rail

WTF????? It is, in the final analysis, unacceptable. Stop it Mr Isbell!!!!!*

PPS Is the S in his surname a hard S or a soft S?

*The copy of 'How to write Country Music Lyrics for Morons' is due back at the library.
Late Doors

Ace, glad you enjoyed it on the whole and thanks for the response. Obviously I have a different view but oh de ho n all that. That couplet  is from a terrific song, the title track and on its own I guess its not exactly "Steinbeck for the ears" ( I love that quote). Its context though, the song is a great ode to the humble honest worker, manual worker, ripe for getting ripped off but born to it. Its two lines, you can take two lines from legendary songs, like a rolling stone perhaps and it would be corny bollocks. There's another line in it about being too tired to go to church but thank god for the work that is brilliant. The overall song is fabulous

Yeah, living the life you choose is not the albums strongest but again its context. The whole album sees him examining his previous irresponsible past and that song to me captures his wonder about a previous love and the haphazard way time and actions split.
Anyway mate, great to have some music discussion with you. Makes up for your football offerings;-)
Dock

Late Doors wrote:
Ace, glad you enjoyed it on the whole and thanks for the response. Obviously I have a different view but oh de ho n all that. That couplet  is from a terrific song, the title track and on its own I guess its not exactly "Steinbeck for the ears" ( I love that quote). Its context though, the song is a great ode to the humble honest worker, manual worker, ripe for getting ripped off but born to it. Its two lines, you can take two lines from legendary songs, like a rolling stone perhaps and it would be corny bollocks. There's another line in it about being too tired to go to church but thank god for the work that is brilliant. The overall song is fabulous

Yeah, living the life you choose is not the albums strongest but again its context. The whole album sees him examining his previous irresponsible past and that song to me captures his wonder about a previous love and the haphazard way time and actions split.
Anyway mate, great to have some music discussion with you. Makes up for your football offerings;-)


Can I also add that Children of Children is a great song. Some great lyrics in all the songs, and you're right, I was being a picky fucker singling the nail/ hammer lyric out.

I've had SMTF on in the car, along with sweating lunatic Igg Pop and The Stooges 1970 classic 'Fun House' album. Quite a listening juxtaposition between Jason and Mr Pop.
Late Doors

Indeed there is, such is the diverse brilliance of rock n roll. Its a soft s by the way.

Also i typed that on my phone in the sportsman. It seems I can now post from my mobile. Brace yersens for some profound bollocks from now on

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