When guitarist Jason Isbell parted ways with Drive-By Truckers last year, nobody knew when or if we would hear from him again. Well, the wait is over, and his solo debut, Sirens Of The Ditch, is a fantastic batch of alt-country that diverges from the harder-rocking electric sound of DBT. Instead, Isbell focuses more on his voice and guitar. All of the songs on the album excellently highlight Isbell’s gruff yet harmonious voice. He keeps the pace mostly mid-tempo throughout a good portion of the album, allowing his voice and guitar to take center stage.
While there are several rockers, such as “Shotgun Wedding,” what surprises the listener are songs like “Hurricanes And Hand Grenades,” which carries a soulful blues vibe, and the back porch pickin’ on “The Magician.” Whether intentional or not, these more stripped-down and acoustic tracks effectively set Isbell apart from the DBT catalog. It’s not that Jason Isbell wants to forget his past, but the strength of Sirens Of The Ditch demonstrates his promising future as a solo artist.
– Reviewed by Christopher Anthony
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