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JASON ISBELL and the 400 Unit- S/T (Album Review)

Since parting ways with the Drive-By Truckers in 2007, Jason Isbell has finally had time to work on his own material. It shows on his self-titled second solo album, a tight collection fueled by glints of the rock, soul and country that came out of FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Ala., in the ’60s and ’70s. Isbell is an empathetic storyteller, giving vivid life to the desperate characters on “Seven-Mile Island” and sighing over lingering heartache on the spare, soulful “Cigarettes and Wine.” If there was any lingering question about Isbell’s prospects away from the Truckers, this album offers ample evidence that he’s doing just fine on his own.
(Eric R. Danton)