Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit
Live at Twist And Shout
Jason Isbell's solo Sirens of the Ditch was a great way to step away from the Drive-By Truckers and extend his Don Henley-esque voice and writing into some solo work. To these ears, it was better than the Truckers' disc without him - Brighter Than Creation's Dark. Live at Twist and Shout sees him covering material from his solo disc, Truckers' finest and a fantastic cover of Van Morrison's Into The Mystic.
The crunch and crash of the band (and what a great band the 400 Unit prove to be - sweet lead guitar to the fore) add a massive dimension to the songs. Danko/ Manuel, one of the songs Isbell gave to the Truckers, has never been played better - it is beautifully controlled, perfectly paced. The album opens with two solo songs, here given the space to grow and breathe, and then heads into Outfit, an outstanding Truckers' song. Isbell has recently been on tour in the UK, blowing audiences away with his combination of songcraft and power. Until there is more studio music from him (hopefully with this band in tow), this is an essential addition.