Accomplished guitarist and songwriter Jason Isbell, formerly of the Drive By Truckers (DBT), releases his debut solo album Sirens Of The Ditch, on July 10, 2007 from New West Records. Elements of rock, blues and soul are evident in the 11 diverse songs, all penned by Isbell. From the rock driven opener “Brand New Kind Of Actress” to the tender “Dress Blues” Isbell’s gift for song writing and striking lyrics is apparent. Listeners got caught glimpses of Isbell’s skills on DBT records with tracks like “Danko/Manuel” and “Outfit.”
Sirens Of The Ditch’s mystical quality can be partially attributed to the FAME recording studio (Aretha Franklin, Duane Allman, Otis Redding) in Isbell’s hometown of Muscle Shoals, AL where the album was recorded.
“A lot of old soul musicians came through here in the late ’60s and ’70s and helped define the Muscle Shoals sound,” the lifelong Alabamian explains, “so that influence was always in my environment, but on this record I really tried to capture that.”
Co-produced by Isbell and Patterson Hood (DBT), Sirens Of The Ditch features Isbell singing lead vocals and playing guitar throughout, joined by Shonna Tucker (DBT) on bass and Brad Morgan (DBT) on drums. Several musicians pop in for cameos including Spooner Oldham and David Hood (Patterson’s father) on “Down In A Hole,” John Neff (DBT) on “Dress Blues” and Patterson himself guests on “Shotgun Wedding.”
Isbell and his band of Muscle Shoals musicians recently appeared on dates with Son Volt, where, according to the Boston Globe, he delivered a “superbly crisp 45 miinute set of powerful anthems…”
A U.S. tour is planned for this summer kicking off July 9th with preview shows in Little Rock, AR (6/20), Memphis, TN (6/21) and Chicago (6/22). Additional dates will be announced soon.
Sirens of the Ditch track listing:
1. Brand New Kind Of Actress
2. Down In A Hole
4. Chicago Promenade
5. Dress Blues
7. Hurricanes and Hand Grenades
8. In A Razor Town
9. Shotgun Wedding
10. The Magician
11. The Devil Is My Running Mate