Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit with special guest Shemekia Copeland
August 9 | Fri. 8:00PM
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit with special guest Shemekia Copeland

Gates Open at 6:30 PM

Starts at 8:00PM

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About the Artists

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit with special guest Shemekia Copeland
Headlining Artist

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

A Jason Isbell record always lands like a decoder ring in the ears and hearts of his audience, a soundtrack
to his world and magically to theirs, too. Weathervanes carries the same revelatory power. This is a
storyteller at the peak of his craft, observing his fellow wanderers, looking inside and trying to
understand, reducing a universe to four minutes. He shrinks life small enough to name the fear and then
strip it away, helping his listeners make sense of how two plus two stops equaling four once you reach a
certain age — and carry a certain amount of scars.
“There is something about boundaries on this record,” Isbell says. “As you mature, you still attempt to
keep the ability to love somebody fully and completely while you’re growing into an adult and learning
how to love yourself.”
Weathervanes is a collection of grown-up songs: Songs about adult love, about change, about the
danger of nostalgia and the interrogation of myths, about cruelty and regret and redemption. Life and
death songs played for and by grown ass people. Some will make you cry alone in your car and others
will make you sing along with thousands of strangers in a big summer pavilion, united in the great
miracle of being alive. The record features the rolling thunder of Isbell’s fearsome 400 Unit, who’ve
earned a place in the rock ‘n’ roll cosmos alongside the greatest backing ensembles, as powerful and
essential to the storytelling as The E Street Band or the Wailers.
They make a big noise, as Isbell puts it, and he feels so comfortable letting them be a main prism
through which much of the world hears his art. He can be private but with them behind him he
transforms, and there is a version of himself that can only exist in their presence. When he plays a solo
show, he is in charge of the entire complicated juggle. On stage with the 400 Unit, he can be a guitar
hero when he wants, and a conductor when he wants, and a smiling fan of the majesty of his bandmates
when he wants to hang back and listen to the sound.
The roots of this record go back into the isolation of the pandemic and to Isbell’s recent time on the set
as an actor on Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon. There were guitars in his trailer and in his
rented house and a lot of time to sit and think. The melancholy yet soaring track “King of Oklahoma” was
written there. Isbell also watched the great director work, saw the relationship between a clear vision
and its execution, and perhaps most important, saw how even someone as decorated as Scorsese sought
out and used his co-workers’ opinions.
“It definitely helped when I got into the studio,” Isbell says. “I had this reinvigorated sense of
collaboration. You can have an idea and you can execute it and not compromise — and still listen to the
other people in the room.”

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit with special guest Shemekia Copeland
Also Featuring

Shemekia Copeland

Award-winning blues, soul and Americana singer Shemekia Copeland possesses one of the most instantly recognizable and deeply soulful roots music voices of our time. She is beloved worldwide for the fearlessness, honesty and humor of her revelatory music, as well as for delivering each song she performs with unmatched passion. Copeland — winner of the 2021 Blues Music Award for B.B. King Entertainer Of The Year— connects with her audience on an intensely personal level, taking them with her on what The Wall Street Journal calls “a consequential ride” of “bold and timely blues.” NPR Music says Shemekia sings with “punchy defiance and potent conviction.” The Houston Chronicle describes her songs as “resilient pleas for a kinder tomorrow.”

On her new Alligator album, Done Come Too Far, Copeland continues the story she began telling on 2018’s groundbreaking America’s Child and 2020’s Grammy-nominated Uncivil War, reflecting her vision of America’s past, present and future. On Done Come Too Far, she delivers her hard-hitting musical truths through her eyes, those of a young American Black woman, a mother, and a wife. But she likes to have a good time too, and her music reflects that, at times putting her sly sense of humor front and center. “This album was made by all sides of me — happy, sad, silly, irate — they’re all a part who I am and who we all are. I’m not political. I’m just talking about what’s happening in this country.”

And she doesn’t hold back. Recorded in Nashville and produced by multi-instrumentalist/songwriter Will Kimbrough (who also produced her previous two albums), Done Come Too Far is Copeland at her charismatic, passionate, confrontational best. With singular purpose and simmering power, Copeland unleashes the searing, history-fueled tracks Too Far To Be Gone (featuring Sonny Landreth on scorching slide guitar) and Done Come Too Far (with Grammy-winner Cedric Burnside duetting and playing Mississippi Hill Country blues guitar). “If you think we’re stopping,” she sings in both songs, “you got it wrong.” On The Talk, Copeland shares the brutally honest, harrowing reality of a Black mother talking with her son about surviving an encounter with the police (with the great Charles Hodges of the famed Hi Rhythm Section on pulsating B-3 organ). On the all-t00-timely Pink Turns To Red (written and recorded prior to the May 2022 Uvalde, Texas school shooting), Copeland decries America’s gun violence epidemic.


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