Jason Isbell at Ribfest

Jason Isbell, who sang and played guitar in the Drive-By Truckers back when the band had three great singer-songwriters in its lineup, has a strong new record out today called Southeastern. Dwight Garner wrote a great profile of Isbell for The New York Times Magazine, which is well worth reading. Isbell recently went through rehab, and he has emerged from that experience with a terrific set of new songs. Isbell and his band, the 400 Unit, came to Chicago on Saturday (June 8), playing at the North Center street festival called Ribfest. The set included several of the new songs, both the softer, acoustic ballads and the rockers like “Super 8.” And of course, Ibsell and the 400 Unit played some of his best-known songs from previous records, including “Codeine” and the touching tribute to a friend killed in war, “Dress Blues.” And of course of course he delivered the signature tunes he first played with the DBT’s: “Decoration Day,” “Never Gonna Change” and “Outfit.” Isbell’s fans sang along enthusiastically.

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