Review: Jason Isbell – Southeastern

Jason Isbell - Southeastern

I needed to hear something new.

That’s how I felt in the summer of 2013, when I was just a few months out of college and already felt like I’d fucked up my whole life.

My first post-graduation “job” had been an unmitigated disaster, and my lack of employment (not to mention my dwindling bank account) had me feeling like a crash-and-burn failure. I’d felt so confident coming out of school, so sure I was bound for success. But the economy was still in tatters from the Great Recession, and jobs were hard to find – especially jobs for a green wannabe professional writer whose resume consisted solely of student jobs and internships. Days of sending out job applications and cover letters yielded no payoff, and I could sense that my girlfriend – a year ahead of me in school and already securely and gainfully employed – was getting worried about my prospects.

It was a low time in my life, made lower by the fact that the one thing I’d usually turn to during times of crisis – music – didn’t seem to be working like it used to work. Every song or album just reminded me of better times, times when I’d felt more hopeful, more happy, more alive. Every familiar artist that had once felt like an old friend now felt like someone who was mocking my ineptitude at finding a way to get on with my life.

So, I needed to hear something new. I needed to discover artists who would be new companions for this particular chapter of my life, artists whose music would help inspire me for a new fight without reminding me so much of where I’d been. I was a “grown up” now – whatever that means – and my new movie needed a different soundtrack from the old ones. Who would be the artist to break down the wall and make me feel something again, other than a bitter-tasting pill of nostalgia?

Enter Jason Isbell.

Read More “Jason Isbell – Southeastern”