TELLURIDE – Start the year off on the right foot by getting down to some great blues and rock music with the sounds of Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit at 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 7 at the Sheridan Opera House.
Isbell is a singer, songwriter and guitarist from Greenhill, Ala. Almost all of Isbell's family, except for his parents, were musicians; his father was an avid music listener. After some work as a songwriter, Isbell joined rock band The Drive-By Truckers in 2001 while they toured in support of their album Southern Rock Opera. Isbell recorded, wrote and toured with the Truckers for their next three albums. In April of 2007, Isbell announced that he was no longer a member of The Drive-By Truckers and would be pursuing a solo music career. He has since then recorded two solo albums, and in 2009 compiled a group of Alabama musicians to form an all-star rock, folk and blues band: The 400 Unit. Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit have released two albums, Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit (2009), and most recently, Here We Rest (2011).
As with the first album, the 400 Unit shines in Here We Rest. Keyboard player Derry deBorja, guitarist Browan Lollar, bassist Jimbo Hart and drummer Chad Gamble play with either the ferocity or subtlety that the songs call for. Having played over four hundred shows together as a band have given Isbell and the guys an innate sense of one another and they are gelling into a truly great band.
There is more straight-out rock and roll guitar on the more recent album, Here We Rest, and thus a part of their live shows. In addition, Isbell embraces more of an acoustic, traditional country music sound than he had in the past.
“When you come from Alabama, that country soul music is in the water,” Isbell says. “I’ve always loved it and been proud of it, but there’s always been this sense of proving that you were capable of more than just that. If I was going to create an album that gave listeners a sense of the place, I felt it was important to let the songs go there if they wanted to.”
And thus, the compilation of great rock and roll, soul, folk and country songs played out by a band that may be the next big thing.
General admission tickets are $25 (seats and standing), and are welcome to all ages.
Tickets can be purchased at sheridanoperahouse.com or 970/728.6363.