It Would Be A Small World - art by alastair tattersall
It was with a tinge of sadness that I read on drivebytruckers.com that Jason Isbell has left the band. And that sadness is purely selfish. I loved what he brought to Drive By Truckers in his voice, lyrics and musicianship.
Having said that I'm also really pleased for both him and DBT - it's great to see creative people feeling like they need more freedom. That's what truly creative people do; they need a challenge, they need to put themselves 'out there', they need to push themselves and their art.
A devastating loss is when Cliff Burton or Randy Rhoads or Ronnie Van Zant are killed. These guys had so much more to offer and never got to fulfil their potential. Jason Isbell has simply left a band to continue on his journey. Never say never, he may even one day get back together with them, but for now he's got shit to do and good on him for having the balls to go and do it.
So for anybody mourning, get over it. Move on. Be thankful he didn't stay in the band, unhappy for another five years and put nothing into DBT. That would truly suck and would be dishonouring both himself and the band. This way we all get another cool band to groove to and we know that everybody on the next DBT album will be fully primed and rockin'.