Jason Isbell is a writer fueled by the desire for truth. The Grammy Award-winning songwriter and performer, well-known for his raw, emotional storytelling, brings a depth to country music reminiscent of artists long passed. Isbell’s heart shines through his lyrics, bringing important issues of relationships, struggle, and faith to the forefront.
Praised since the beginning of his career by music industry leaders for his refreshing approach to country, Isbell has created a new standard for the genre, especially in Nashville. Gonzo folk songwriter Todd Snider said of the writer, a little less than 10 years ago, that the “war is over” on country music.
Jason Isbell has the number one record on the Billboard Country Music Chart and never the less he is still gathering critical acclaim to rival that of anyone in any genre ever,” Snider said of Isbell. “And that my friends at least for me is that. That’s what we’ve been waiting for. That’s the thing “Nashville” wouldn’t let anybody do. Well somebody did it. And nobody stopped him.”
Snider’s predictions stood firm as Isbell progressed with his career over the next seven years.
With Isbell’s storied discography, which songs do you think are the best? Can you hear Isbell coming into his own as a writer on any particular album? What resonates with you?
Read below for American Songwriter’s top 10 Jason Isbell songs.
10. “How to Forget”
9. “Children of Children”
8. “Hurricanes and Hand Grenades”
7. “In A Razor Town”
6. “Alabama Pines”
4. “Cover Me Up”
3. “If We Were Vampires”
1. “24 Frames”
Photo Alysse Gafkjen / Sacks & Co.