Thoroughly Southern by both birth and abiding inspiration, Alabaman Jason Isbell invests his songs with a strong, Faulknerian literary streak and a sound derived from such Dixie keystones as Muscle Shoals, Memphis, Skynyrd, country, and bluegrass. Once part of the Drive-By Truckers' songwriting and guitar juggernaut, Isbell established the 400 Unit — named for a mental health institution — as a more versatile outfit equally adept at soaring, Southern rock anthems, honky-tonk, swamp crawls, and Muscle Shoals soul. Isbell's lyrics are strong on sense of place and characterization, often tackling contemporary twists on enduring themes like broken relationships, grief, alienation, and hard times. His latest solo album is last year's Here We Rest, the title adopted from an outdated Alabama state motto. Opening will be the local neo-folkie band Communist Daughter, whose new EP, Lions & Lambs, is due out July 10. 18+.
Fri., July 6, 8 p.m., 2012