Jason Isbell…lyrics on repeat

Back in late March I spewed some silly rules for developing a DIDL (desert island disk list) for every show that I see. Most of my DIDLs don’t see the light of day…except in my journal, and I haven’t been paying all that close attention to “the rules.” Heck, I have never been all that good with rules even if they were of my own devising…

I have tried to stick with the 8 song maximum per the “rules.” I’m making an exception for one of my favorite singer-songwriters. This DIDL will include 7 songs that Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit played in Tulsa at Cain’s Ballroom on 8/22/17 and 3 that weren’t on the evening’s playlist.
No commentary on most of the songs…the lyrics speak for themselves.

Hope the High Road
“I’ve heard enough of the white man’s blues
I’ve sang enough about myself
So if you’re looking for some bad news
You can find it somewhere else…
…I hope the high road leads you home again
To a world you want to live in”

24 Frames
“You thought God was an architect, now you know
He’s something like a pipe bomb ready to blow
And everything you built that’s all for show goes up in flames”

White Man’s World
“I’m a white man living in a white man’s nation
I think the man upstairs musta took a vacation
I still have faith, but I don’t know why”

“I broke a promise to myself
Ride the Throttle ’til wheels came off
Burn out like a Molotov
In the night sky
I broke a promise to myself
Made a couple to a brown eyed girl
Who rode with me through the mean ol’ world
Never say die”

Cover Me Up. (This one got the most audience participation at Cain’s. Watching Jason and Amanda Shires singing it together and to each other would melt the hardest heart…)
“But I made it through, ’cause somebody knew
I was meant for someone
So girl, leave your boots by the bed
We ain’t leaving this room
Till someone needs medical help
Or the magnolias bloom”

Codeine (Shelly is pretty tired of being subjected to my caterwauling on this one….)
“If there’s two things that I hate
It’s having to cook and trying to date.
Busting ass all day to play ‘hurry up and wait.
That’s a few things that I hate”

If We Were Vampires (Sad love song…especially for an old man like me…40 more years ain’t happening…)
“It’s knowing that this can’t go on forever
Likely one of us will have to spend some days alone
Maybe we’ll get forty years together
But one day I’ll be gone or one day you’ll be gone
If we were vampires and death was a joke
We’d go out on the sidewalk and smoke
And laugh at all the lovers and their plans
I wouldn’t feel the need to hold your hand”


How To Forget   (Some of the stories from my younger days are doozies….)
“She won’t stop telling stories, and most of them are true
She knew me back before I fell for you
I was strained, I was sad, didn’t realize what I had
It was years ago
I was sick, I was scared, I was socially impaired
It was years ago”

Different Days
“Jesus loves a sinner but the highway loves a sin
My daddy told me I believe he told me true
That the right thing’s always the hardest thing to do”

Tupelo (Sometimes the “small stuff” ain’t so small…just sayin’)
“She said there’s nothing left to talk about
At my age I should’ve figured out
Which drawer to put the good knives in”

No music, no life. Know music, know life.
Be. Just Be.

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