Country music took on new life when it came to Nashville. The ballads of lonesome Texas cowboys blended with folk tunes and bluegrass from Appalachia into a lush, easy listening new country sound dubbed the Nashville Sound. It was radio friendly, reflected pop sensibilities, and brought country music to the mainstream. The style was so successful that many people now think country is too pop, too shallow, and too detached from it’s roots. Jason Isbell’s new album “Nashville Sound” aims to change that.
Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit, The Nashville Sound
Isbell, the man who has been called the “savior of country music”, a “maverick“, and the “youngest old man in country“, is a part of a new roots movement in country music that is challenging the genre’s overt pop focus. Alongside artists like Sturgill Simpson, Chris Stapleton, and Margot Price, Isbell is reimagining classic country music. You can’t help but hear Bob Dylan, Waylon Jennings, and Willie Nelson as Isbell and the 400 Unit sing about injustice, broken relationships, and social inequality. While some think this is a temporary shift in Americana music, I tend to think Isbell is leading a revolution in country music like the Outlaws did in the 1970’s.
You can listen to Nashville Sound in it’s entirety on NPR’s First Listen.