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Event Info

$79.00, $59.00, and $44.00

(plus applicable fees)

Tickets available now at all Ticketmaster outlets, the Tennessee Theatre box office, and 800-745-3000

Every once in a while, and not that often, a popular musician comes along whose work is both
profoundly personal and evocative of the larger moment, merging the specifics of lived experience in a
particular time and place to the realities of our shared journey as a community, a people. The work of
such artists as Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, and Kurt Cobain – and now Jason Isbell, I would
argue, with his new album Something More Than Free – spreads irresistibly outward from the soul, that
private well of vision and emotion, into the broader realm of cultural history, sharpening our ability to
see, expanding our ability to feel, and restoring our sense that we belong not only to ourselves but to an
extended spiritual family. The songs create a space to be together, and closer together than we were

To fans and the music press, the personal story surrounding Isbell’s last, breakthrough album,
Southeastern, is widely known and easily reprised. A troubled young troubadour, newly married,
stepped away from the darkness of addiction into a new, uncertain life of clarity and commitment,
reflecting ruefully on his hard won victories and the price he paid attaining them. It was an album of
aching elegance, marked by the sort of lyrical precision that brought to mind certain literary masters of
the melancholy American scene, from Flannery O’Connor to Raymond Carver. By avoiding the hairychested
bombast of arena country music while crafting music with solid melodic contours Isbell created
an album, and a sound, of memorably infectious empathy.

With Something More Than Free, he stretches himself further, greatly expanding the boundaries of Isbell
country, that territory of the heart and mind where people strive against their imperfections, and
simultaneously against their circumstances, in a landscape that’s often unfriendly to their hopes. As
always, he starts with the subjects he knows best: the dignity of work, the difficulty of love, the friction
between the present and the past. “I found myself going back,” he says, explaining the direction he
chose to take, “to family and close personal relations.” The opening cut, “It Takes a Lifetime”, so loose
and summery and optimistic, invites us into this circle of kindred souls, instantly making us feel at home.
And while Isbell may be singing about himself or someone else who’s inner life he’s privy to when he
mentions fighting ‘the urge to live inside my telephone,’ isn’t that everyone’s challenge nowadays?