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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great live album from one of America's finest songwriters, 21 Nov 2012
By 
Paul Jeater (essex) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Live From Alabama (Audio CD)
If there's a better album released in 2012 I haven't heard it. This live album recorded in Birmingham Alabama captures Jason Isbell and 400 Unit in fine form. I saw Jason in solo concert earlier this year in London and thought it was one of the finest shows I'd seen in a long time, and his songwriting skills are captured in this album. For fans of Drive by Truckers,Jason performs tracks that he wrote for both the Decoration Day and Dirty South albums, but there are also performances of material from his solo albums including the Americana Music Awards winning track Alabama Pines. The set is bookended by tracks Tour of Duty and Dress Blue both poignant songs about young men sent to fight overseas wars. As an encore Jason offers a rendition of Neil Young's " Like a Hurricane" which caps a truly memorable album.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good band caught live, 19 Nov 2012
By 
Big Jim "Big Jim" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Live From Alabama (Audio CD)
It is rare that a live album transcends or even equals a band's studio output. I'm thinking Live and Dangerous, Quo Live, Frampton comes alive and not much else comes to mind off the cuff. Sure there are great live albums in their own right, Live at Leeds, get yer Ya yas out, etc, etc, I think that a live album has to be seen in isolation, a record of a particular moment in time, and that if you want a definitive version of the tracks in the concert then reach for the studio album. So with that, lengthy, caveat, I have to say that I am immensely impressed by this album. There is a nice mix of old Drive by Truckers stuff, some stuff of the solo and other 400 unit albums and a killer closing cover of Like a Hurricane. Jason Isbell is in good voice, displaying a degree of vulnerability that is not always apparent in the studio and the band are tight as a gnat's chuff. Obviously this band's main appeal will be for current fans, and if you fall into that bracket you will not be disappointed. If you haven't heard this band then if you like anything from the Byrds to Lynyrd Skynyrd by way of Steve Earle, then you might find something new to like here.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Drive By This Ex-Trucker, 23 Nov 2012
By 
Mr. A. W. Riggs "bernard shakey" (Wallington, Surrey United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Live From Alabama (Audio CD)
Three studio records in Jason Isbell is carving out a career as a Premier singer songwriter of the Americana genre (whatever that is). Live he's even better, highlights include a stunning version of Danko/Manuel and a cover Neil Young's seminal 'Like A Hurricane'. Lasting over 70 minutes this is not to be missed - only grumble where's the DVD !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jason vs Patterson - discuss, 8 Dec 2012
By 
M. Henderson "Blindjohnlemon" (Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Live From Alabama (Audio CD)
I'm a fan of the DBTs but I've always had a niggling feeling that they don't quite hit the mark, that they're trying too hard. Having seen Isbell leave and start to do is own stuff, I'm of the opinion that his laid back, bluesy-country tinged style will be missed by the Truckers, and therefore if you're similarly minded, you will find that this is a gem of an album. Patterson's angst and hurt has it's place, but just not all the time. My standout track is Blue, even without the drum click. Sterling support from the band as well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars My current favourite CD! Isbell and The 400 Unit rock out ..., 8 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Live From Alabama (Audio CD)
My current favourite CD! Isbell and The 400 Unit rock out in Alabama. Singing songs from across his career including from The Drive By Truckers he demonstrates his ear for good melodies, riffs and cracking lyrics. In particular "Outfit" is a stand out song full of regret, anger and Southern pride. Great stuff.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Tremendous Live Album!!, 29 Oct 2013
By 
J. Trevett "Man In Black" (Chinatown, Weymouth, Dorset) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Live From Alabama (Audio CD)
I only recently discovered Jason Isbell via the equally brilliant Southeastern album. I have to say that I agree with many of the comments in this thread - this is one helluva live album!! I am quite an old guy now and I spent a large chunk of my time in the military and - you may not be aware of this - soldiers and strippers have the best music!! This is the sort of album which, because of several references to military life, will be a favourite on the ipods of military men in the US and UK. Jason follows a tradition of singers that appeal to these guys, not only Neil Young but also Warren Zevon, Jackson Browne, Steve Earle and Slaid Cleaves. Well worth seeking out.
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5.0 out of 5 stars High-class music, 17 Oct 2013
By 
Steve Keen "therealus" (Herts, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Live From Alabama (Audio CD)
It's always seemed a shame to me that Jason Isbell and Drive-By Truckers parted company. As good as both still are, neither is as good as they were when they were together.

However, that doesn't take away from how good this record of Isbell and the 400 Unit, playing in Birmingham and Huntsville, Alabama in August 2012, is. Five of the songs are legacies of Isbell's time with DBT, such as Decoration Day and TVA, which demonstrate how good he was when he was with them, especially as one of his best songs (in my opinion) Never Gonna Change, doesn't even figure.

But the other originals, such as Tour Of Duty, Dress Blues and particularly Cigarettes And Wine, show he is still able to produce high quality songs on his own.

One of the standouts of the set is the inclusion of a Muscle Shoals-inspired brass section on some of the tracks, one of which is Heart On A String, previously recorded by Candy Staton at the FAME Studios at Muscle Shoals in 1970.

Thus the set moves between styles and textures from rock to soul to country, and caps off with a beautifully faithful rendition of Neil Young's Like A Hurricane.

So, no hesitation giving this top marks, and it shows that what we lost when Isbell left DBT we gained in having extra, still high-class music from him.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Absolute Gem, 2 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Live From Alabama (Audio CD)
Having sampled the new album Southeastern and thinking this guy's music was worth exploring, I gave Live from Alabama a listen to & decided I had to buy it. I've played it over & over & can't rate it highly enough, it just keeps growing. Live albums rarely deliver, often a compilation of tracks recorded over a tour. This gets right under the skin with a selection of excellent tracks from this singer songwriter's career, plus the odd cover! For me it was like hearing Neil Young's Harvest the first time, a long long time ago. You knew right away it was something special. It won't be everyone's taste, I can't claim to have been knocked out by the studio stuff, but this is certainly worth a listen.
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5.0 out of 5 stars jason isball - live from Alabama, 28 May 2013
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This review is from: Live From Alabama (Audio CD)
A great album filled with terrific tracks giving a terrific musical experience that grows in depth and excitement with each play.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Skilled songsmith, 20 May 2013
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This review is from: Live From Alabama (Audio CD)
The songs that Jason Isbell writes are noted for the intricacies of the lyrics and meaning i.e Outfit,Decoration Day.This live set conveys well a band that is tight and professional whilst giving Isbell the vehicle to show case his skills and songs
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Live From Alabama
Live From Alabama by Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit (Audio CD - 2012)
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