By

MusicNotes from the XPN Morning Show: Watch Bob Dylan sing on David Letterman’s penultimate show, & See Jason Isbell perform “The Thrill is Gone” in tribute to B.B. King.

Gus Stewart/Redferns via Getty Images
Gus Stewart/Redferns via Getty Images

With the clock winding down on The Late Show with David Letterman, Bob Dylan made a rare television appearance last night, appearing on the show to sing “The Night We Called It a Day,” from his latest album “Shadows in the Night.” Watch. Continue reading →

By

Jason Isbell brings new record to The Mann’s Skyline Stage this summer

Jason Isbell
Jason Isbell | Photo by Joe Del Tufo | joedeltufo.com

Jason Isbell has announced a summer tour that includes a stop at The Mann‘s Skyline Stage on July 29th. The string of dates coincides with the release of Isbell’s fifth solo record Something More Than Free, which follows up 2013′s acclaimed Southeastern LP. Tickets and information for the all-ages, outdoor concert will be available here on May 8th. Revisit his sold-out Keswick performance from earlier this year here, watch him perform “Cover Me Up” live at Austin City Limits, and listen to a new song, “24 Frames” below.

Continue reading →

By

Closing In On Perfection: Jason Isbell plays a sold-out Keswick Theatre

Jason Isbell | Photo by Joe Del Tufo | joedeltufo.com
Jason Isbell | Photo by Joe Del Tufo | joedeltufo.com

It’s been interesting following Jason Isbell on his journey through his breakthrough album Southeastern. Just before the release, I caught him late one night in a sparsely-filled upstairs at the World Cafe for the NON-COMMvention. He played solo, and when he started his set the chatter at the bar was louder than the song itself. He got a certain hard look in his eyes, and belted out the chorus to the then unreleased “Cover Me Up.” Lights flickered. It got everyone’s attention. And the songs on Southeastern and subsequent performances with his exceptional band the 400 Unit have been doing so ever since. Continue reading →

By

Tonight’s Concert Picks: Natalie Prass at Boot & Saddle, Branford Marsalis at Zellerbach Theater, Jason Isbell at the Keswick

Natalie Prass
Natalie Prass | photo via www.facebook.com/natalieprass

Natalie Prass brings her debut LP to Boot & Saddle tonight. You might recognize her as the keyboard player on Jenny Lewis’s tour last year, but this first offering from the Cleveborn singer-songwriter shows her talents reach much further than piano. Her “Bird of Prey” single was XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week back in January, its playful yet self-assured arrangements of horns and strings buoying Prass’s up close and personal vocals. Listen to the song below and pick up tickets for tonight’s show with Lady Lady here.
Continue reading →

By

Jason Isbell & Amanda Shires cover “Born in The U.S.A.” for Springsteen tribute album

photo via nashvillearts.com
photo via nashvillearts.com

Riding on the heels of this weekend’s patriotic festivities, singer-songwriter favorites Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires have released their cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.,” appearing as the title track for an upcoming song by song tribute to Springsteen’s breakout album. The style on the album, called Dead Man’s Town: A Tribute To Born In The USA hearkens back to Springsteen’s somber Nebraska, bringing a different tone to the album’s original lively spirit.

Isbell and Shires told Rolling Stone:

“Born in the U.S.A.’ is one of my favorite songs of Springsteen’s, making it one of my favorite ever…I love that the song paints a picture of struggle in the face of the American dream, and the irony in the chorus is delivered with such force that it nearly transcends irony altogether.”

Shires also cites the song as a favorite, “Because I write songs and play rock & roll shows, Springsteen is obviously a hero of mine. ‘Born in the U.S.A.’ is one of my favorites because so many people have seemingly misunderstood the lyrical content and the song’s overall tone. When you listen to the demo, the dark, minor key arrangement makes it clear that this is not strictly a song of celebration. We wanted to stay true to that version.”

Check out the track listing below, and listen to Isbell and Shires’ cover of “Born In The U.S.A.” Jason Isbell plays the Philadelphia Folk Festival on August 17th.

1. Jason Isbell & Amanda Shires, “Born in the U.S.A.”
2. Apache Relay, “Cover Me”
3. Quaker City Nighthawks, “Darlington County”
4. Blitzen Trapper, “Working on the Highway”
5. Joe Pug, “Downbound Train”
6. Low, “I’m on Fire”
7. Holly Williams, “No Surrender”
8. Ryan Culwell, “Bobby Jean”
9. Trampled by Turtles, “I’m Goin’ Down”
10. Justin Townes Earle, “Glory Days”
11. Nicole Atkins, “Dancing in the Dark”
12. North Mississippi All-Stars, “My Hometown”

By

Philadelphia Folk Festival adds Jason Isbell, and World Cafe recording sessions with Sturgill Simpson and Caroline Rose to the lineup

Photo by Rachel Del Sordo
Photo by Rachel Del Sordo

The already packed 53rd Annual Philadelphia Folk Festival lineup is getting four more additions, including singer-songwriter Jason Isbell, who will be a headliner on Sunday night of the festival. A former member of the band Drive-By Truckers, singer-songwriter Isbell has a southern rock, alternative country influenced sound. The festival also added a bonus concert exclusively for All-Festival Camping Ticket holders on Thursday, August 14 — the night before the festival official starts. The concert will be held in the campgrounds and hosted by World Cafe host David Dye. The night will feature bluegrass and country music singer Sturgill Simpson, vintage country songstress Caroline Rose and roots band Parsonfield. For more information about the festival and tickets, go to the Philadelphia Folk Festival website here. Below, listen to Isbell perform “Live Oak” from his Free at Noon concert from August 2013.

By

Jason Isbell playing Union Transfer on January 29th

Photo by Rachel Del Sordo
Photo by Rachel Del Sordo
Singer-songwriter Jason Isbell returns to Philly on Wednesday, January 29th to Union Transfer. Tickets go on sale this Friday, November 1st at Noon. The former Drive-By Trucker released the best album of his career this year with the acclaimed Southeastern. The forthright collection of songs, about Isbell’s new found sobriety – encouraged by the support of his wife, Amanda Shires – is filled with love songs and ballads that fully realize the potential of his greatness as a songwriter and performer. In August, Isbell and his band performed a Free At Noon concert at World Cafe Live. Listen to the session here.

By

Recap: Jason Isbell plays Free at Noon

Photo by Rachel Del Sordo
Photo by Rachel Del Sordo

After a sold out show out headlining show at the World Cafe Live Wednesday, country rocker Jason Isbell made an encore performance at today’s Free at Noon. This double-take was well received by fans, many of whom had attended both shows.  Jason is currently on tour in support of his latest album, Southeastern, which was released June 11th. Check out a gallery of photos below, and listen to the set in its entirety here (via the WXPN media player).