Remembering Charlie Daniels – Americana Pioneer

Charlie Daniels

Charlie Daniels singer, songwriter, bandleader, multi-instrumentalist, philanthropist and Country Music Hall of Fame member died Monday from hemorrhagic stroke in Nashville. He was 83 years old.

We all know about Daniels’ most famous for Grammy-winning cross-genre hit song “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” from the 1979 Charlie Daniels Band album “Million Mile Reflections.” The song became even bigger with its inclusion on the soundtrack for the hit movie ‘Urban Cowboy,’ in which Daniels makes an onscreen appearance with his band playing along with the recorded song during the film’s dance contest scene.

Before making the leap into stardom Daniels was a Music Row session musician playing guitar, bass, mandolin and fiddle as needed for the session. often working for his friend, producer Bob Johnston whom he had befriended after meeting on the Ft. Worth club scene . Several of these Johnston-led sessions were for Bob Dylan albums during 1969 and 1970, most notably playing guitar and bass guitar on on Bob Dylan’s 1969 LP ‘Nashville Skyline’ which Danials told Billboard he almost wan’t included.

“They had built the nucleus of that studio band around him with the other two albums he had done in town, ‘Blonde On Blonde’ and ‘John Wesley Harding.’ But the guitarist they wanted [Wayne Moss] could not make the first session because he was already booked elsewhere. So Bob Johnston called me and got me to fill in for him, and Dylan liked what I was doing. I was getting ready to leave but he didn’t want me to leave and asked me to stick around and I wound up doing two more records with him in ‘Self Portrait’ and ‘New Morning.’ But it was happenstance that I was on those initial sessions for Nashville Skyline.”

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Daniels inclusion in these sessions provided other opportunities outside of Country Music.

Producer Pete Drake convinced Ringo Starr to move his ‘Beaucoups of Blues’ sessions from the U.K. to Nashville by telling Starr that within a week Drake’s musician friends could produce more than an albums worth of material. Perhaps recalling those later Beatles recording sessions Ringo reportedly thought this was an ‘impossible’ feat and might have been swayed by witnessing the quickness of the sessions, which had been common for Nashville Country music sessions for years.

Daniels recalled the sessions as “pretty typical Nashville sessions. You know, three songs in three hours. It was go in, sit down and work. Here’s the songs, here’s the chords, let’s get it done. It was not a Beatles-type leisurely session. It was work.”

Starr, apparently convinced, said of the sessions, “We did the album in two nights. … I was only there three days recording. I’d learn five songs in the morning and I’d go and record five songs that night. It was really good.”

This led to the most unlikely gig in Daniels’ career, playing with Leonard Cohen.

Daniels recalled in his biography ‘Never Look At The Empty Seats.’ “When Bob Johnston brought Leonard Cohen to Nashville to record an album, I have to admit that I knew very little about him and was completely unfamiliar with his music.Leonard was a totally different kind of artist than any I had ever worked with. His music was sensitive and haunting, and the imagery of his lyrics was abstract and poetic, like a Georgia O’Keeffe painting. … When I first heard ‘Bird on the Wire,’ I didn’t know what to think. Here was a truly unique artist, and his songs were so delicate that one out-of-place guitar lick could bend it out of shape. When you worked with Leonard, you had to listen closely and get in sync with what he was trying to convey. You had to interpret it in the same musical frame he was operating in. Sometimes it only called for a well-placed note or two, sparse but meaningful. I know that sounds philosophical and stilted, but so was Leonard’s music. You needed to be in a certain frame of mind, and it was a challenging but satisfying experience.”

Daniels / Leonard

Following the release of the album, ‘Songs From A Room’ (1969), Cohen invited Daniels to join him on tour. “I was asked to be part of the backup band that would be called The Army. It was a different kind of band, mostly acoustical instruments with no drums. We needed to surround Leonard with delicate, genteel sounds. For a bang, slam, redline graduate of thirteen years of honky-tonk and rock and roll, it would be a learning experience.”

Daniels went on to help found the Southern Rock sound that then influenced bands like The Drive-By Truckers and Blackberry Smoke

Though the Americana and roots music community never really warmed up to Daniels, mainly due to his outspoken conservatism and the communities general liberal slant, in 2006 Charlie Daniels received the First Amendment Center / Americana Music Association “Spirit of Americana Free Speech Award” at the 5th Annual Americana Honors & Awards at the Ryman Auditorium ceremony.

Watch Out! Strand of Oaks featuring Jason Isbell, Amanda Shires – “Ruby”

Strand of Oaks was joined by members of My Morning Jacket guitarist Carl Broemel, drummer Patrick Hallahan, bassist Tom Blankenship, and keyboardist Bo Koster, as well as Jason Isbell and Amanda Shire performed a pastorally soulful rendition of ‘Ruby’ on “Colbert” last night.

“Ruby” is a track on the upcoming Strand Of Oaks album ‘Eraserland,’ out March 22 on Dead Oceans.

Pre-order ‘Eraserland’ here.

Watch their rendition of “Ruby” below:

Tonight we sail on a radio song – Tom Petty Tributes

Tom Petty’s music appealed to anyone who loved thoughtful and superbly performed songs, but he held a special place in the hearts of Americana and roots artists. In the wake of his untimely death of cardiac arrest last Monday, there was an outpouring of tributes from his contemporaries and acolytes. Here are some I’ve collected and will add more as I come across them.

Know one? Let me know in the comments below.

Walk off the Earth – ‘You Don’t Know How It Feels’ – Just happened across this brilliant cover by Canada’s Walk off the Earth. Sit back and enjoy.

One person that best exemplifies a contemporary version of roots rock Petty helped establish is Jason Isbell. Here’s Isbell and the 400 Unit tearing through “Refugee” on the first night of their 6-night sold-out run at The Ryman Auditorium. Auditorium – October 9th, 2017

Heres Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit performing “You Wreck Me” on the second night of their The Ryman Auditorium run. October 10th, 2017

Here is Jason Isbell and the 400 unit ripping through “American Girl” at Mempho Fest 2017 – October 7th, 2017

Margo Price gives ‘Last Dance with Mary Jane’ a badass spin – 10/7/17

Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real – ‘American Girl’ at The Fonda Theater – Hollywood, Ca. – Willie’s son does this rocker justice.

Gov’t Mule – ‘Breakdown’ – Houston, October 2nd, 2017 – Gov’t Mule brings on the moody groove featuring searing guitar work by Warren Haynes.

Old Crow Medicine Show – ‘American Girl’ Sydney, Australia, October 6th, 2017 – A badass breakdown by Old Crow Medicine Show.

The Mavericks – ‘You don’t know how it feels’ – Humphrey’s – SD, CA – October 5, 2017 – The Mavericks put their unique spin on this classic.

Miley Cyrus and Billy Ray Cyrus – “Wildflowers” – Whatever Miley Cyrus does musically she proves time and again that she has a country heart. Cyrus finishes out her Tonight Show residency with a lovely tribute to Petty with accompaniment from her father Billy Ray Cyrus.

Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives- ‘Runnin’ Down A Dream’, April – Marty Stuart has long proclaimed in concert that he’s a Petty fan. This tribute was captured a few months before Petty’s death.

The Avett Brothers – “You Don’t Know How It Feels” Council Bluffs, IA October 5th, 2017 – The Avett Brothers h=get a lot of help from the audience in this heartfelt tribute.

Chris Stapleton – “Learning to Fly” – October 5th, 2017, Moline, Illinois – Chris Stapleton offers some memories of playing a show with Petty before performing a soulful solo acoustic version of “Learning to Fly.”

John Fogerty – “I Won’t Back Down” – October 4th, 2017, Encore Theatre at Wynn hotel, Las Vegas. Fogerty honors Tom Petty at his show at The Encore Theatre at Wynn Las Vegas. This was also the first show after the tragic events at Mandalay Bay

Wilco – ‘The Waiting,’ Toyota Pavilion, Irving, Texas, October 3, 2017 – I dare you not to get chills from this tribute.

Hanson – “Wildflowers” (rehearsal) – October 3rd, 2017 at the Corona Theatre in Montreal, Canada. – Say want you want about Hanson, this is a beautiful harmonic tribute.

Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Dave Matthews, Patty Griffin – “Refugee” by Tom Petty – Moore Theatre, Seattle October, 3rd 2017 – This performance was the opening song on the opening night of the 2017 edition of Lampedusa: Concerts for Refugees benefiting Jesuit Refugee Services USA.

Foo Fighters “Breakdown”- Played at a secret 2013 show in Moorpark, CA – Redballs Rock N Roll Pizza. Just badass.

Super Bowl XLII Halftime Show – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – An all American moment with the master himself.

Watch Out! Jason Isbell on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

Jason Isbell showed The Late Show With Stephen Colbert audience that he had brought the rock back out for a spin. Fresh off the release of his more electric new album, ‘The Nashville Sound,’ the Alabama native and his band the 400 Unit unleashed a tight and spirited rendition of their lead single, “Hope the High Road” at Ed Sullivan Theater last Tuesday night.

Look for this level of greatness as Isbell and the 400 Unit will be on the road for theater, amphitheater, and festival dates until their sold-out residency at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium in October.

Jason Isbell Announces new album, ‘The Nashville Sound’ – Out June 16th

Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, guitarist Jason Isbell and his mighty band, the 400 Unit, have announced the June 16th release of their highly anticipated new album, The Nashville Sound (Southeastern Records/Thirty Tigers). The Nashville Sound is the follow up to 2015’s critically acclaimed Something More Than Free, which won two Grammy Awards (Best Americana Album & Best American Roots Song, “24 Frames”) and two Americana Music Association Awards (Album of the Year & Song of The Year, “24 Frames”). See Highlights.

Over his career, Jason Isbell has become one the most respected and celebrated songwriters of his generation. He possesses an incredible penchant for identifying and articulating some of the deepest, yet simplest, human emotions, and turning them into beautiful poetry through song.

‘The Nashville Sound’ features 10 new songs that address a range of real life subject matters that include politics and cultural privilege (“White Man’s World”), longing nostalgia (“The Last Of My Kind”), love and mortality (“If We Were Vampires”), the toxic effect of today’s pressures (“Anxiety”), the remnants of a break up (“Chaos and Clothes”) and finding hope (“Something To Love”). Songs such as “Cumberland Gap” and “Hope The Highroad” find Isbell and his bandmates going back to their rock roots full force.

The Nashville Sound was recorded at Nashville’s legendary RCA Studio A and produced by Grammy Award-winner Dave Cobb, who produced Something More Than Free and Isbell’s celebrated 2013 breakthrough album Southeastern. The Nashville Sound is the first official Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit album since 2011’s Here We Rest. The 400 Unit features Derry deBorja (keyboards), Chad Gamble (drums), Jimbo Hart (bass), Amanda Shires (fiddle) and Sadler Vaden (guitar). The group just announced a five-night stand at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium October 10,11,13-15 to add to their extensive tour. See the list of tour dates below.

Jason Isbell - 'The Nashville Sound'

June 17 – Asheville, NC – Thomas Wolfe Auditorium #

June 18 – Raleigh, NC – North Carolina Museum of Art #
June 19 – Philadelphia, PA – The Fillmore Philadelphia #
June 22 – New York, NY – Beacon Theatre #

June 23 – New York, NY – Beacon Theatre +

June 24 – New York, NY – Beacon Theatre +

June 26 – New Haven, CT – College Street Music Hall +
June 27 – Boston, MA – Blue Hills Bank Pavilion +

June 29 – Canandaigua, NY – Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center >
June 30 – Columbia, MD – Merriweather Post Pavilion +

July 1 – Cincinnati, OH – PNC Pavilion at Riverbend Music +
July 2 – Huber Heights, OH – Rose Music Center at the Heights +
July 5 – Papillion, NE – Sumtur Amphitheatre +
July 7 – St. Paul, MN – The Palace Theatre +
(Sold Out)
July 11 – Sioux Falls, SD – The Washington Pavilion +

July 12 – St. Louis, MO – Peabody Opera House +

July 14 – Austin, TX – ACL Live at the Moody Theater +

July 15 – Austin, TX – ACL Live at the Moody Theater #

July 16 – Austin, TX – ACL Live at the Moody Theater #

July 18 – Houston, TX – Revention Music Center #

July 19 – Jackson, MS – Thalia Mara Hall #

July 21 – Miami Beach, FL – The Fillmore *

July 22 – St. Augustine, FL – St. Augustine Amphitheatre *
July 23 – North Charleston, SC – North Charleston Performing Arts Center*
September 7 – Morrison, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheatre
October 10 – Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium
October 11 – Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium
October 13 – Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium
October 14 – Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium
October 15 – Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium

Support: # Amanda Shires / + Mountain Goats / > Iron & Wine / * Strand of Oaks

2017 European Dates

October 25 – Manchester, UK – Albert Hall
October 26 – Glasgow, UK – O2 ABC
October 27 – Dublin, Ireland – Olympia Theatre
October 29 – Brighton, UK – Brighton Dome
October 30 – London, UK – Roundhouse
October 31 – Birmingham, UK – Symphony Hall
November 2 – Paris, France – Le Café de la Danse
November 3 – Brussels, Belgium – Ancienne Belgique
November 6 – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Paradiso
November 7 – Hamburg, Germany – Uebel & Gefährlich
November 8 – Berlin, Germany – Columbia Theater
November 10 – Oslo, Norway – Sentrum Scene
November 11 – Oslo, Norway – Sentrum Scene
November 12 – Stockholm, Sweden – Münchenbryggeriet
November 14 – Copenhagen, Denmark – DR Concert Hall

Tift Merritt supports all European dates

Listen Up! Ronnie Fauss Covers Slobberbone’s “Lumberlung”

Portrait of musician Ronnie Fauss, photographed in Brooklyn, NY
Portrait of musician Ronnie Fauss, photographed in Brooklyn, NY

There are few songs that move me quite as much as Slobberbone’s “Lumberlung.” I’d put it up there with Ryan Adams’ ‘Oh My Sweet Carolina’ and Drive-By Truckers’ ‘Goddamn Lonely Love’ on my ‘melancholy tales of faded love’ list

Nortex troubadour Ronnie Fauss wisely agrees. He pays honorable tribute on this fine rendition picking up the pace and little giving it an a slightly jauntier spin without losing any of the emotion-wrenching punch.

Of his relationship with the band and recording the song Fauss says “I first heard Slobberbone over the speakers at a now defunct record store on lower Greenville in Dallas. It stopped me in my tracks – I went to the counter and said “what in the hell is this?!?” The album was “Everything you thought was right was wrong today” and the song was “Lumberlung”.

I bought the CD on the spot, and listened all the way home. When I got home I went straight to the guitar that was under my bed (and had not been played in years) and started working on a song of my own. It was just my natural response to hearing Slobberbone for the first time – I had to make something of my own.

I became a superfan. I went to see them many times around Deep Ellum and other parts of Dallas…I introduced my buddies to them and they became superfans as well, we bonded like brothers at their shows. Also, I kept on writing my own songs. A few years later, I had a batch of material that I felt good enough about to record. I had read that (Slobberbone lead singer) Brent Best was recording local artists in his spare time in his home studio, so I went to see him at a solo gig he was playing at the Barley House…after a few shots of whiskey I mustered up the courage to approach him, introduce myself, and ask if he would be open to helping me make a record. He gave me a once-over and said “sure”, and that was that.

We recorded my first EP in his house in the Spring of 2008. It was very surreal to be recording with the songwriter who had encouraged me to start writing songs in the first place! It’s an intimate, stripped down recording…tracked over his linoleum kitchen floor. He would stand up between takes, go to the stove and stir something in a pot, and then return to the control board. He said he was cooking a goat. I’m proud of the record we made together, it’s called “New Songs For The Old Frontier Volume 1”.

When I was invited to pick a Slobberbone song to record for this project, I was elated. What an honor! But then a sort of creative atrophy took over. As I listened through their entire catalog in search of a song to cover, I came to realization – I could not improve on anything they had ever done. I only want to offer my own version of someone else’s song if I think I can bring something unique and meaningful to the table…but how could I improve on perfection???

And then it hit me – don’t try to do it better, just do it different. So I went back to “Lumberlung”…the first song I heard by Slobberbone in that record store more than a decade earlier, and an idea hit me. Speed it up a bit, change the tempo, bring in a banjo and a mandolin and a fiddle and turn it into a back porch picking number. Their original verison is perfect and beautiful and haunting, mine is something different.

I’m proud of how it turned out. It’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever done. I mean come on, I had about the best source material to work with that a man could ask for.’

Fauss joins Luther Dickinson and others that have recorded Slobberbone songs to celebrate the release of Bees and Seas: The Best Of Slobberbone

Ronnie Fauss Official Site | Slobberbone Official Site

The Drive-By Truckers To Release New Album ‘American Band’ This Fall, Premiers Single

Drive-By Truckers

Drive-By Truckers have always been a band that defies convention. Their new cut, “Surrender Under Protest” from their 11th studio release ‘American Band’ (ATO Records), proves that their not about to soften anytime soon.

The Georgia-by-way-of-Alabama band has had a revolving number of extraordinary personal over their 20 years. Through it all main songwriters Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley have held mirrors to Southern life in ways that asks narrative questions while also honoring stylistic traditions.

“Surrender Under Protest” is a Cooley-penned first single from the record. A blast of guitar intros a song for these times, bracing in it’s directness confronting our growing cultural divisions.

Or as Hood describes the approach to ‘American Band’ : “This time out, there are no such (narrative) diversions as these songs are mostly set front and center in the current political arena with songs dealing with our racial and cultural divisions, gun violence, mass shootings and political assholery. Once again, there is a nearly even split between the songs of Cooley and myself, with both of us bringing in songs that seem to almost imply a conversation between us about our current place in time.

“American Band” is a rock and roll call to arms as well as a musical reset button for our band and the country we live in. Most of all, we look at it as the beginnings of some conversations that we, as a people very much need to begin having if we ever hope to break through the divisions that are threatening to tear us apart.”

The motivation to make music that matters is a natural one in roots-leaning music. But not everyone can strike a Woody Guthrie tone. There’s a risk of partisan platitudes ( think “Jerusalem ” era Steve Earle) instead of populist poetry ( think pre- ‘Jerusalem’ era Steve Earle.)  it’s a  subtle balance the “Surrender Under Protest” struggles to maintain.

“American Band” not only marks a change in tone for the The Drive-By Truckers. The band is using a photograph for the cover, an American flag at half-staff, instead of an illustration (mostly handled by the Southern-Gothic imagery of Wes Freed.)
The Drive-By Truckers premiered the new single with NPR.

‘American Band’ pre-order options are here Listen to “Surrender Under Protest” and check out the band’s upcoming tour dates are listed below.

Drive-By Truckers Tour Dates:

13 — New York, N.Y. @ Lowdown Hudson Music Fest
17 — Alta, Wyo. @ Grand Targhee Festival

20 — Morrison, Colo. @ Red Rocks Amphitheater
27 — Lexington, Ky. @ MoonTower Music Fest

16 — Toronto, Ontario @ TURF 2016
17 — Fredericton, Neb. @Canada Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival
23 — Kansas City, Mont. @ Crossroads
24 — Minneapolis, Minn. @ First Avenue
25 — Sioux Falls, S.D. @ The District
28 — Missoula, Mont. @ The Wilma
29 — Seattle, Wash. @ Showbox at the Market
30 — Portland, Ore. @ Wonder Ballroom

1 — Portland Ore. @ Wonder Ballroom
2 — Vancouver, British Columbia @ Rickshaw Theater
5 — Sacramento, Calif. @ Ace of Spades
6-7 — San Francisco, Calif. @ The Fillmore
8 — Lake Tahoe, Nev. @ Montbleau Resort Casino
11-12 — Los Angeles Calif. @ Teragram Ballroom
13 — Solana Beach, Calif. @ Belly Up Tavern
14 — San Luis Obispo, Calif. @ The Fremont
15 — Scottsdale, Ariz. @ Livewire

Listen Up! Sturgill Simpson – “Brace for Impact”

Sturgill Simpson 'Living The Dream' on Conan

Sturgill Simpson , the reluctant outlaw country music hero appears to be moving further and further way from that designation. Simpson took to Apple Music’s Beats 1 with host Zane Lowe to preview his brutally gritty new single “Brace for Impact,” The singer/songwriter also let it be known his new album’s title, ‘A Sailor’s Guide To Earth.’

Simpson tells Lowe he made A Sailor’s Guide to Earth for his son, and it represents the next steps in his own personal musical evolution.

Never afraid to take a risk Simpson says “If you take a chance and try to progress a little bit, which for me is what it’s all about — I already made Metamodern, so I didn’t want to make another psychedelic country record,” he says. “But as soon as I open my mouth, it’s always going to be a country record. You’re always a little nervous because people might expect more of the same or they might not be as willing to take the journey with you, but I think any of the true fans probably wouldn’t expect anything less.”

On March 2, Simpson shared on social media an intriguing illustration that may well be the cover his upcoming album. Nope, actual cover updated:

Sturgill Simpson - A Sailor’s Guide To Earth

1. Welcome to Earth (Pollywog)
2. Breakers Roar
3. Keep It Between The Lines
4. Sea Stories
5. In Bloom
6. Brace For Impact (Live A Little)
7. All Around You
8. Oh Sarah
9. Call To Arms

“Brace for Impact,” moved more the the garage rock direction of “Sugar Daddy,” Simpson’s theme for HBO’s Vinyl, rather that the Bakersfield sound on peyote of Metamodern. Funked up splashes of Hammond organ, Simpson delivers a carpe diem message of kindness with swelling guitars and synth bass crashing around.

Still no word on a release day. Release date in April 15th.

May 5—Austin, TX—Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater
May 6—Austin, TX—Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater
May 7—Dallas, TX—The Bomb Factory
May 10—Houston, TX—White Oak Music Hall
May 11—Oklahoma City, OK—Criterion Theater
May 16—Lexington, KY—Lexington Opera House
May 17—Lexington, KY— Lexington Opera House
May 18—Chattanooga, TN—Tivoli Theater
May 20—Knoxville, TN—Tennessee Theater
May 21—Indianapolis, IN—Egyptian Room – Old National Centre
May 22—Louisville, KY—Louisville Palace
June 2—Royal Oak, MI—Royal Oak Theatre
June 3—Chicago, IL—Riviera Theatre
June 4—Milwaukee, WI—Riverside Theater
June 5—Minneapolis, MN—First Avenue

Listen to the song and Simpson’s interview with Lowe below.

Top 6 Roots Music Moments at the 2016 Grammy Awards


Grit, heart and soul found it’s way between the sequins and glitter of the 58th Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. Folks that have been bustin Asa’s for years, and sometimes decades, get recognition (and hopefully a bump in music and ticket sales) and a chance to stand toe-to-toe with ther accomplished msusiaans and remind the sometimes jaded industry audience why music will always tie us into a shared human condition.

Here are some highlights:

The Steeldrivers

After four nominations The SteelDrivers proved the fifth time is the charm. The Nashville-based bluegrass badasses won thier first Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album for their fifth realese ‘The Muscle Shoals Recordings.’
The critically-acclaimed album debuted at #1 on the Billboard Bluegrass Chart and achieved the highest first-week sales in the band’s history.

Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn’s eponymous album picks up the well-deserved Best Folk Album Grammy.

The excellent documentary ‘Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me” wins Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media.

Chris Stapleton, Gary Clark Jr., and Bonnie Raitt play steal the show with this BB King tribute.

Aside from being part of the great tribute Chris Stapleton snagged 2 statues
Best Country Album (for Traveller) and Best Country Solo Performance (for the album’s title track). He shared the spotlight with producer Dave Cobb. He even called Taylor Swift out for “glitter bombing” him.

Jason Isbell made up for the snub of his 2013 ‘Southeastern’ by winning 2 Grasmmys during the event’s pre-telecast. Best Americana Album for ‘Somethng More Than Free’ and Best Americana Roots Song for ’24 Frames.”

Isbell thanked his wife, singer, songwriter Amanda Shires, who provides harmonies on the track; his manager Traci Thomas, his long-time band, the 400 Unit; producer Dave Cobb and those who voted mentioning humbly “It’s a real honor” to accept the award. At the end of his speech, Isbell also thanked Muscle Shoals, Ala., for “teaching me how to play music.”

Well done sir, no one deserves it more.