Jason Isbell and his band, The 400 Unit, will release a special new covers album, Georgia Blue, due out Oct. 15 via Isbell’s own Southeastern Records. All proceeds benefitting three non-profit organizations: Black Voters Matter, Fair Fight and Georgia STAND-UP. Ahead of the release, Isbell’s new version of R.E.M.’s “Driver 8,” featuring John Paul White, is available now.
The album, created to celebrate Georgia’s role in the 2020 election, consists of new versions of 13 songs with ties to the state, including tracks originally recorded by Georgia natives R.E.M., Drivn’ N’ Cryin’, James Brown, Cat Power, Precious Bryant, Otis Redding, The Black Crowes, Indigo Girls, Now It’s Overhead, Gladys Knight & The Pips, The Allman Brothers Band and Vic Chesnutt. Georgia Blue also features special collaborations with Julien Baker, Brandi Carl
“Georgia Blue is a labor of love. On election day 2020, when I saw that there was a good chance the state of Georgia might go blue, I came up with an idea: to record an album of Georgia-related songs as a thank you to the state and donate the money to a Georgia-based non-profit organization,” explains Isbell. “I will admit my motivations were a bit selfish. For years, I’ve been looking for an excuse to record these songs with my band and some friends. The songs on this album are some of my favorite Georgia-related songs… I hope you enjoy listening to these recordings as much as we enjoyed making them. Keep listening to good music and fighting the good fight.”
Since the release of his breakthrough solo album, Southeastern, in 2013, Isbell has won four Grammy Awards, nine Americana Music Association Awards and was selected as the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum’s official 2017 Artist-in-Residence. Isbell is also a member of the acclaimed collaborative movement The Highwomen and wrote “Maybe It’s Time”—featured in the award-winning 2018 film, A Star Is Born.
The band will continue to tour throughout the fall, including upcoming shows at Philadelphia’s Met Opera House, Boston’s Wang Theatre, New York’s Rooftop at Pier 17, Minneapolis’ The Armory, Atlanta’s The Tabernacle and Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium.
1. Nightswimming feat. Béla Fleck and Chris Thile (originally performed by R.E.M.)
2. Honeysuckle Blue feat. Sadler Vaden (originally performed by Drivin’ N’ Cryin’)
3. It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World feat. Brittney Spencer (originally performed by James Brown)
4. Cross Bones Style feat. Amanda Shires (originally performed by Cat Power)
5. The Truth feat. Adia Victoria (originally performed by Precious Bryant)
6. I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (originally performed by Otis Redding)
7. Sometimes Salvation feat. Steve Gorman (originally performed by The Black Crowes)
8. Kid Fears feat. Julien Baker and Brandi Carlile (originally performed by Indigo Girls)
9. Reverse (originally performed by Now It’s Overhead)
10. Midnight Train To Georgia feat. Brittney Spencer and John Paul White (originally performed by Gladys Knight & The Pips)
11. In Memory of Elizabeth Reed feat. Peter Levin (originally performed by The Allman Brothers Band)
12. I’m Through (originally performed by Vic Chesnutt)
13. Driver 8 feat. John Paul White (originally performed by R.E.M.)