2011 - A year in review.

# 8. Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit - Here We Rest
(Lightning Rod Records, April 12th 2011)

Here We Rest is Jason Isbell's third soloalbum and his second with his backing band The 400 Unit, and it's probably his best yet. Mr. Isbell was my favourite among the magnificent songwriters in Drive-By Truckers, quite a feat, and he has continued to write these amazing songs since he parted ways with the Truckers some years ago now. Just take the song opening this album, "Alabama Pines", an achingly beautiful song about a guy who has lost his way and are dreaming about those Alabama pines of home. A classic Isbell tune. This album is full of those, songs that just feels like they've always been there.

"If there's one thing I can't take
it's the sound that a woman makes
about five seconds after her heart begins to break.
That's the one thing I can't take."

"Codeine" probably is the standout track on the album, a slow but almost swinging country song with great fiddle and outstanding lyrics. Well, the lyrics are great all around with this guy.

Here We Rest isn't all ballads and sad songs, you get the great swinging - kind of classic New Orleans track "Never Could Believe" and brilliant southern soul on "Heart on a String". The album is after all recorded at the FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals and Isbell is a Muscle Shoals native.

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit has made a great album of classic american music.

You should definitely buy this album on vinyl, then you get a seven inch with another Isbell original and the band's great take on the Guided-By Voices' "Everywhere with Helicopter".

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit - Alabama Pines (official video)