New Heathens
27Feb/09Off

Under Stones’ Thumbs, Jason Isbell

Friends, remember to please come out for a happy hour drink at Banjo Jim's tonight. I'll be providing the entertainment.
Had the pleasure of meeting Bill German last night. Bill just wrote a book that I can't wait to tear into called, "Under Their Thumb: How A Nice Boy From Brooklyn Got Mixed Up With the Rolling Stones (and Lived to Tell About It)." When he was 17 he started printing a Stones fanletter from his high school's newspaper office. Soon the Stones made Bill's newsletter their official fan club bulletin. For 17 years Bill hung with and chronicled the Rolling Stones. This is his memoir about those days.

Then zipped to the Bowery Ballroom for another brilliant show by one of my favorite rocker/songwriters, Jason Isbell, formerly of the Drive-By Truckers.

Isbell played "The Assasin" by his old bandmate Patterson Hood and dedicated the song to Patterson, who is battling pneumonia and has been in the hospital. I thought it was a nice gesture often unseen among ex-bandmates.
I also respect how fresh from getting booted from what I consider to be perhaps the best band going right now, the Drive-By Truckers (remember, he was also married to the Trucker's bassist), Isbell put a new band together, hit the road and never looked back. His band, the 400 Unit, has really congealed and the dude is an absolute road warrior. He plays NYC every few months.
And man those songs of his. The guy's songwriting is just dazzling. In a league with anybody.

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