Jason Isbell Keeps On Truckin’

(This story appears in our September/October issue. Pick it up here.) [caption id="attachment_124957" align="alignnone" width="600"] (Photos: Joshua Black Wilkins)[/caption] A dozen years ago, Jason Isbell shuffled downstairs and watched as the Drive-By Truckers loaded their instruments and guitar amps into his home in Green Hill, Alabama. Isbell had been living there for several months, sharing the space with local scenesters like Shonna Tucker and Dick Cooper. He was 22 years old, a college dropout with a killer voice, solid guitar chops and no real plans beyond the house party that was scheduled for that evening. The Truckers had agreed to play the party, hoping to work out some last-minute kinks before kicking off a national tour in support of Southern Rock Opera. When showtime rolled around, though, guitarist Rob Malone still hadn’t shown up. To prove a point, the rest of the band started playing without him, leaving an empty chair in the place he would’ve occupied. “Those guys had a rule at that time, which was, ‘If you don’t show up for a gig, don’t bother showing up for the next one,’” Isbell explains from the living room of his new home, a cozy townhouse on the outskirts of…

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