Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Sirens of the Ditch CD Release Show - 7/7/07

As I clear the cobwebs from a transcontinental flight that put me in my bed around 2 a.m. this morning, I'm struggling to write a coherent review of last Saturday night's Sirens of the Ditch CD release show in Sheffield, Alabama.

All bands involved kicked much ass, but the night belonged to Jason Isbell and his 400 unit.

Today will be for JI400 pics and comments and later this week I'll include some pictures from the two stellar opening bands Lauderdale and Sons of Roswell (both bands put on kick ass shows and I highly recommend gettin' their records in your 8 track player).

One thing that struck me is that Jason could have put together a band that consisted of solid players that were wall flowers. Folks that play good music but don't have much stage presence thus ensuring the spot light stayed completely focused on the front man. Jason could have done this but he didn't. Not only is the 400 Unit comprised of stellar musicians... and I mean stellar... each one of these guys can rock the fuck out... but they also have great stage presence and personality. Its a damn fun group of folks to watch on stage.

Browan and Jimbo rip it up on guitar and bass fo' sho' but Mr. Tillery on the drums is a show unto himself. This guys is a throw back drummer and he'll amaze you with the way he plays the skins. Watch him.

I only caught the first set as a very long week caught up to me around midnight and I had to turn in for the evening. Also, there ain't no drinking and driving in the Shoals no more... unless yer young and fearless.... I'm not so young and very fearful, so I limited my alcohol in take until the music made me want to start doing shots of Jack.... that's when it was time to go.... I did so with the full knowledge that I get to see the band in 3 weeks in SF where I never have to worry about driving drunk.

I got to introduce myself to Jimbo Hart before the show started but I missed getting to shake Jason's hand which was a bummer. I'll corner his ass in San Francisco, though. You can run but you can't hide, Isbell!

They launched into the first set with Chicago Prom which seems to me to be what's being pushed as the single. Excellent choice. Jason started at the keys and finished on guitar. Mighty fine.

Jason took a moment to praise the DBT and his time in the band before playing a couple of his DBT tunes. Never gonna change was INCREDIBLE. The arrangement was a tiny bit different by the power behind the song seems to have increased. I was in full rock salute during this one.

Jason also played 'Assassins', a Patterson tune, that rocked hard. After the song Jason said it was a fun one to play.

All of the Sirens tunes were fantastic. The band is primed for the road and should be putting on some serious rocks shows over the next few months. Get out there and see 'em.

Other notes from the evening: Gary Nichols was in attendance as was Dick Cooper, Rob Malone, Rodney Hall of FAME studios and several other North Alabama music legends and soon to be legends. It was great to see such a thing in Sheffield. Rodney Hall and I spoke for a while about the resurgence of the music scene in North Alabama. Lots going on with a ton of great musicians. Everybody has their fingers crossed that this thing will blow up.

Here are a couple of videos of Jason and the band performing. Check 'me out:

Jason has a great quote during the Inside Fox Morning Program. When asked about the difference between DBT and his band the comment that it has gone from a democracy to a dictatorship was made then Jason says on a FOX channel no less....

'I'm the Rupert Murdoch of the band...."

Instant classic, Jason.

MyFox Atlanta | Inside Fox Morning Program


stereogum: New Jason Isbell Live Video - "The Magician":
"click the little triangle button below for a live take on 'The Magician,' a brushed-up country-folk cut from the new LP.
Here are some pictures from Jason's first set. I'll have Lauderdale and Sons up later this week.

I'm going back to bed....

Ryan Tillery is one of the most entertaining drummers I've seen. Be sure to pay attention to him during this tour. He's a lot of damn fun and a hell of a drummer to boot.



"Jared Wayne" said...

Great fuckin' review and love the black and white jack pic. From what I remember of the jason...that fits.


Townser said...

Beautiful. Another one of your classic 'blogurockumentaries'. Thanks for the review. Again, sorry to hear about your Grandpa and I hope everyone is doing as well as can be expected during tough times. I am going to see the Drams and the Old 97's tomorrow night--OUTSIDE. I will let you know how it goes. I last saw the 97's in 2000 (I think) and they totally blew the roof off of the place.

AAW said...

Thanks, Jared. That JD pic reminds me that old habits are hard to break... but then why the hell would ya want to break some habits?

Thank you and thank you towners. Maaaaannnn, I've been jonesing for a Drams show... I dig the old 97s. Give me an update on that show. Sounds like a goodie.