You Need to Hear Jason Isbell's Blistering New Single, "Cumberland Gap"

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You Need to Hear Jason Isbell's Blistering New Single, "Cumberland Gap"

One thing that Jason Isbell doesn’t always get to do is just rock the hell out. As a former member of Drive-By Truckers, and now as a solo artist, one picture of Isbell is as a thoughtful and introspective dude who documents the whole “Southern thing” as well as anyone going, while kind of keeping the amps dialed down.

That couldn’t be further from the truth on “Cumberland Gap,” the second single from his soon-to-be-released sixth album. With his former band The 400 Unit backing him up, Isbell blazes through the dusty and abandoned trails of the titular Appalachian pass. The song’s character at every turn and every squall of guitar is just trying to get out of Dodge. A small town’s bars are no longer an escape but another form of oppression. There’s not much wealth to be spread around. The mines have shut down, and one of the few opportunities for employment is to go fight in some bullshit war. It’s as though the man of “Outfit” has stuck around for too long and the realization has hit him like a ‘69 Chevy with a 396 going 80 mph. The Cumberland Gap swallowed his daddy up, and now it’s doing the same to him. It’s certainly one of the more darkly affective tunes Isbell has crafted, and absolutely one of this year’s best rock songs.

The Nashville Sound is out June 16 on Southeastern Records. Listen to the new single below and check out previous single “Hope the High Road” here. Isbell has a spate of tour dates which you’ll find beneath “Cumberland Gap,” along with a 2011 performance from the Paste Cloud.

Jason Isbell Tour Dates:

04 – Springfield, Mo. @ Gillioz Theatre
06 – Peoria, Ill. @ Limelight Eventplex

17 – Asheville, N.C. @ Thomas Wolf Auditorium (w/ Amanda Shires)
18 – Raleigh, N.C. @ North Carolina Museum of Art (w/ Amanda Shires)
19 – Philadelphia, Penn. @ The Fillmore (w/ Amanda Shires)
22 – New York, N.Y. @ The Beacon Theatre (w/ Amanda Shires)
23 – New York, N.Y. @ The Beacon Theatre (w/ The Mountain Goats)
24 – New York, N.Y. @ The Beacon Theatre (w/ The Mountain Goats)
26 – New Haven, Conn. @ College Street Music Hall (w/ The Mountain Goats)
27 – Boston, Mass. @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion (w/ The Mountain Goats)
29 – Canandaigua, N.Y. @ Constellation Brands – Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center (w/ Iron and Wine)
30 – Columbia, Md. @ Merriweather Post Pavilion (w/ The Mountain Goats)

01 – Cincinnati, Ohio @ PNC Pavilion at Riverbend (w/ The Mountain Goats)
02 – Huber Heights, Ohio @ Rose Music Center at the Heights (w/ The Mountain Goats)
05 – Papillion, Neb. @ Sumtur Amphitheatre (w/ The Mountain Goats)
07 – St. Paul, Minn. @ Palace Theatre (w/ The Mountain Goats)
11 – Sioux Falls, S.D. @ Mary W. Sommervold Hall at the Washington Pavilion (w/ The Mountain Goats)
12 – St. Louis, Mo. @ Peabody Opera House (w/ The Mountain Goats)
14 – Austin, Texas @ ACL Live at the Moody Theater (w/ The Mountain Goats)
15 – Austin, Texas @ ACL Live at the Moody Theater (w/ Amanda Shires)
16 – Austin, Texas @ ACL Live at the Moody Theater (w/ Amanda Shires)
18 – Houston, Texas @ Revention Music Center (w/ Amanda Shires)
19 – Jackson, Miss. @ Thalia Mara Hall (w/ Amanda Shires)
21 – Miami Beach, Fla. @ The Fillmore Miami Beach (w/ Strand of Oaks)
22 – St. Augustine, Fla. @ St. Augustine Amphitheatre (w/ Strand of Oaks)
23 – North Charleston, S.C. @ North Charleston Performing Arts Center (w/ Strand of Oaks)

07 – Morrison, Colo. @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre

25 – Manchester, U.K. @ Albert Hall (w/ Tift Merritt)
26 – Glasgow, U.K. @ O2 ABC Glasgow (w/ Tift Merritt)
27 – Dublin, Ireland @ Olympia Theatre (w/ Tift Merritt)
29 – Brighton, U.K. @ Brighton Dome Concert Hall (w/ Tift Merritt)
30 – London, U.K. @ Roundhouse (w/ Tift Merritt)
31 – Birmingham, U.K. @ Symphony Hall (w/ Tift Merritt)

02 – Paris, France @ Le Café de la Danse (w/ Tift Merritt)
03 – Brussels, Belgium @ Ancienne Belgique (w/ Tift Merritt)
06 – Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Paradiso (w/ Tift Merritt)
07 – Hamburg, Germany @ Uebel & Gefährlich (w/ Tift Merritt)
08 – Berlin, Germany @ Columbia Theater (w/ Tift Merritt)
10 – Osla, Norway @ Sentrum Scene (w/ Tift Merritt)
12 – Stockhold, Sweden @ Munchenbryggeriet (w/ Tift Merritt)
14 – Copenhagen, Denmark @ The Koncerthuset

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