Our friend JASON ISBELL and the almighty 400 UNIT have returned with a new live album documenting their sold-out six night stand at the legendary RYMAN AUDITORIUM.

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit’s new Live From The Ryman is a bit of a well-deserved victory lap summation from a four-year period that vaulted the one of our favorite singer/songwriter/guitarist/bandleader’s to Americana icon status.

Live From the Ryman is curated from a 2017 run of six sold-out dates Isbell and company performed at the venerable Nashville venue since the release of 2013’s Southeastern. These shows capped off a four year period that saw Isbell snag four Grammy Awards, including best Americana album for 2015’s Something More Than Free and last year’s The Nashville Sound, and eight Americana Music Awards, with album of the year honors for all three of his releases since Southeastern.

Those nights at the Ryman, which sold out at a record pace, put Isbell in a reflective mood about where he was and where he is now.

“I think what we’ve doing has definitely caught on a lot over the past few years,” Isbell says. “And a lot of that is due to the fact it’s been better quality than what I’d done in past. When I quit drinking and going out after the shows and staying up all night, I was able to focus more on the songs and paying attention to every lyric, every song on the album. I set out to keep making records people wanted to listen to all the way through, no filler material, just focusing on ‘Let’s see how good I can get 10 songs.'”

A live album has also been part of Isbell’s vision for the past few years. “The plan was to get these three records recorded and released and then make a live album that documented this period of time,” he says. And while he and the 400 Unit “do our best everywhere,” the Ryman remains a special show any time the group plays there.

“We don’t go into it planning on playing better than we do anywhere else,” he says, “but the fact is the more feedback and the more response we’re getting from the audience, the more energized you are on stage. Usually in that room there’s people who travel from long distances and they buy their tickets early and they make a big trip out of it. So when they get to the show they’re ready to be there and ready to participate, and that probably elevates our games as a band.” A live recording, he adds, also puts some deserved focus on the 400 Unit

“It’s important for me that people know the role the band plays in the performances of the songs, and how much we’ve changed over the past eight or nine years since we started playing together,” Isbell says. “I think we’ve developed a whole lot as musicians. We’ve spent a lot of time around each other and listening to each other, getting to play and know each other ’til we have almost that telepathy you develop after you’ve been playing and touring together. I think this is a good display of that.”

Isbell, who operates his own Southeastern Records label, is off the road for the rest of this year, and he’s starting to eyeball a follow-up to The Nashville Sound. But he’s not hurrying to do that, either.

“That’s the good thing about having my own label; I don’t have to be on anybody else’s schedule,” he says. “I’ll wait until I have a set of songs and then set a deadline. That’s when I’ll maybe work a little harder, leading up to that ’cause I don’t want to waste my time and my money in the studio. I just want to make a good enough record that you can tour behind for a couple of years. I’d rather wait until I’ve got the right songs to put out and do it then rather than release something because somebody says it’s time to.”

Horizon will have Live At The Ryman in-stock on CD and vinyl LP starting Friday, Oct. 19th, along with these other great Isbell titles!

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