Jason Isbell: Silver Raven Playbook

In-between tour dates across the United States, revered roots-rock musician Jason Isbell will be setting some time aside this April to take to the stage at South Australia’s latest live music venture, Silver Raven Festival. 

The release of Something More Than Free in July of last year heralded the beginning of Jason Isbell’s ascension to his status as one of America’s most respected musical acts with the record debuting at number 1 on Billboard’s rock, folk and country charts. Born in Alabama, the soulful sound of 60s and 70s country rock’n’roll flows through his songs with Isbell saying that Bob Dylan, Neil Young, James McMurtry, Lucinda Williams, Aretha Franklin, Joni Mitchell and Patty Griffin are some of his major influences. Something More Than Free is Isbell’s most mature record to date. As well as offering modern perspectives on everyday life in the south through a number of insightful character sketches, Isbell conveys a sense of self-acceptance, reflection and wisdom after exiting a particularly turbulent era of his life in which he battled with substance abuse and a marriage breakdown. “The goal for Something More Than Free was essentially the same goal I always have when writing an album: to explain the world to myself, and in the process communicate with listeners in a way that lets them know they aren’t alone,” Isbell tells The Adelaide Review. “I spent a lot of time editing these songs, trying to be concise and still poignant.” Something More Than Free recently earned the title of Best Americana Album at this year’s Grammy awards, with the single 24 Frames receiving accolades as Best American Roots Song. Prior to his solo career, Isbell was best known for his work with rock band Drive-By Truckers, whom he played with for six years – he left in early 2007 and released his first solo album, Sirens of the Ditch, later that year. He is now the frontman of his own project, Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit. “I get a lot of enjoyment out of both [solo and band work], but fulfillment comes from doing what I am best at, which at this point seems to be fronting a band of my own,” Isbell says. Isbell will be bringing his band to Adelaide in early April for the very first Silver Raven Festival, an Americana-inspired affair to take place over one day in the idyllic surrounds of the Barossa Valley. Isbell will be headlining alongside alt-country darling Eilen Jewell, with the lineup featuring a stellar selection of local acts including Bad // Dreems, Koral & The Goodbye Horses, Hana & Jessie-Lee, Ollie English and The Audreys in their final performance before an indefinite hiatus. Dynamic New York psych-metal band Endless Boogie will also make an appearance. Isbell, who has previously toured Australia with Ryan Adams and Justin Townes Earle, as well as headlining his own tour in 2014, is eager to return to our shores. “Once the flight is dealt with, I always have a great time [in Australia].” Jason Isbell will perform at Silver Raven Festival on Saturday, April 2 at the Turkey Flat Vineyards (Barossa Valley). Tickets can be bought via the Silver Raven website. silverravenfestival.com

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