Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit Announce New Benefit Album, Share Cover of R.E.M.’s “Driver 8” | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Friday, September 24th, 2021  

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit Announce New Benefit Album, Share Cover of R.E.M.’s “Driver 8”

Georgia Blue Due Out October 15 via Southeastern

Sep 14, 2021 Photography by Alysse Gafkjen
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Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit have announced a new covers album, Georgia Blue, of which all proceeds will benefit three different organizations: Black Voters Matter, Fair Fight, and Georgia STAND-UP. The album consists of covers of songs originally created by Georgia natives (R.E.M., Gladys Knight, James Brown). Isbell and his band have also shared a song from the album, a cover of R.E.M.’s “Driver 8,” which features John Paul White. Georgia Blue will be out on October 15 via Isbell’s own label Southeastern Records. Check the band’s “Driver 8” cover out below, along with the tracklist and artwork for the album.

Isbell speaks about the new album in a press release, stating: “Georgia Blue is a labor of love. On Election Day 2020, when I saw that there was a good chance the state of Georgia might go blue, I came up with an idea: to record an album of Georgia-related songs as a thank you to the state and donate the money to a Georgia-based non-profit organization. I will admit my motivations were a bit selfish. For years, I’ve been looking for an excuse to record these songs with my band and some friends. The songs on this album are some of my favorite Georgia-related songs.”

He adds: “We have roots in blues and R&B, so we enlisted some brilliant artists to help us pull off songs by Precious Bryant, James Brown and Gladys Knight. My favorite part of the Georgia Blue recording process was having the opportunity to work with these very special artists, and I thank them: Amanda Shires, Brittney Spencer, Adia Victoria, Brandi Carlile, Julien Baker, Bèla Fleck, Chris Thile, Steve Gorman, Peter Levin and John Paul White. I hope you enjoy listening to these recordings as much as we enjoyed making them. Keep listening to good music and fighting the good fight.”

The band’s most recent album, Reunions, came out last May via Southeastern. Last year, the band performed album tracks “Running With Our Eyes Closed” and “Overseas” on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Georgia Blue Tracklist:

1. “Nightswimming” feat. Béla Fleck and Chris Thile (originally performed by R.E.M.)
2. “Honeysuckle Blue” feat. Sadler Vaden (originally performed by Drivin’ N’ Cryin’)
3. “It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World” feat. Brittney Spencer (originally performed by James Brown)
4. “Cross Bones Style” feat. Amanda Shires (originally performed by Cat Power)
5. “The Truth” feat. Adia Victoria (originally performed by Precious Bryant)
6. “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” (originally performed by Otis Redding)
7. “Sometimes Salvation” feat. Steve Gorman (originally performed by The Black Crowes)
8. “Kid Fears” feat. Julien Baker and Brandi Carlile (originally performed by Indigo Girls)
9. “Reverse” (originally performed by Now It’s Overhead)
10. “Midnight Train To Georgia” feat. Brittney Spencer and John Paul White (originally performed by Gladys Knight & The Pips)
11. “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” feat. Peter Levin (originally performed by The Allman Brothers Band)
12. “I’m Through” (originally performed by Vic Chesnutt)
13. “Driver 8” feat. John Paul White (originally performed by R.E.M.)

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