Countdown to Bonnaroo: Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit

{Editor’s Note: Yes, we realize that Manchester’s annual music fest is months away. But we like to take our sweet time discovering all the gems … the eclectic, genre-defying, beyond-the-headliner acts. Each week, we we’ll tell you about some of our faves.}

MANCHESTER — Jason Isbell is a southern storyteller. He’s a man from a certain time and a certain place, rural North Alabama. He’s been six degrees of separation from some of the most talented musician on the planet.

The 400 Unit are some of those musicians. They’re folks raised on a patch of land known as Muscle Shoals – a sleepy southern town where Etta James, Aretha Franklin, and The Rolling Stones recorded some of their best work.

Together, they are Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit, and they’ll play Saturday, June 13 at Bonnaroo.

The band blends rock, alt country, bluegrass, and folk together with honest songwriting. Isbell’s a natural storyteller who leans towards the ugly truths of life .. no cliches, no reminiscing about the good old days in a small, southern town … just four chords and the truth as they say.

Cheekily named for the nickname of the psychiatric ward of Eliza Coffee Memorial Hospital in Florence, Alabama, the 400 Unit brims with talent and includes bassist Jimbo Hart, drummer Chad Gamble, keyboardist Derry deBorja, guitarist (and former Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ member) Sadler Vaden, and Amanda Shires. Shires is both Isbell’s wife and a member of the uber popular country music group, The Highway Women.

To check them out, click here. We recommend the songs “Cumberland Gap” and “Last of My Kind” to get a feel for their work. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

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