Jason Isbell

Keswick Theatre / Glenside, PA

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Damien Jurado opened for Jason Isbell and he was outstanding. Anyone who can sit on a chair with only his voice and guitar and keep the attention of the audience has got to be good…and he is. Excellent singer and songwriter and a funny guy.

Jason Isbell and his band opened with a couple of electric songs to get the blood flowing on an incredibly cold night. Then he switched to his brand new Martin guitar and played what he called his folk songs, most of which are from his latest album Southeastern. Displaying all the charm of a southern gentleman, he told a story of a little girl in an audience that had a sign to request “Live Oak,” which he played for her and discussed her question about it after the show. The guy really has a great stage presence. Oh and plenty of talent to boot.

His folk song segment included “Cover Me Up,” a very romantic song he wrote for his wife as well as “Elephant,” and “Songs That She Sang in the Shower.” These and others from the latest album showcase Jason’s songwriting ability as well and his voice.

He also can really play that new Martin guitar.

Also from the album but kicking the show into high gear, the band dove into “Super 8,” a hard hitting showcase of just what can go wrong on the road. Staying on the electric guitar, Jason displayed the skill we all knew he has from Drive-By Truckers days.

The band finished the concert with a three song encore ending the show with everyone on their feet dancing and swaying to an incredible cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking.”

The band had fun and the audience loved it. Check him out if you have a chance.

– Mark J. Smith

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