In advance of their eighth studio album Weathervanes, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit today released “Cast Iron Skillet,” the third track from the project. Weathervanes, out June 9th via Southeastern Records/Thirty Tigers, is written and produced by Isbell.
Isbell returns to a common theme with “Cast Iron Skillet.” He explores his relationship with the life lessons he learned growing up in the south, from the extremely mundane to life’s most complex truths. He is southern in accent, and family tree, and in musical ancestors, but he uses his art to tear down the worst of the south and try to build a new, better, more loving region in its place. Isbell breaks open the myths and legends he learned, from the small and insignificant to the large and deadly – and reflects on how the idea of the past is very rarely accurate.
“If we romanticize the past, we can’t really learn from it,” says Isbell.
“Cast Iron Skillet” marks the third track released from Weathervanes following the first two offerings, “Death Wish” and “Middle of the Morning”. Earning praise from fellow artists as well, legendary musician, songwriter and producer Jack White released his own take on “Death Wish” last Friday. Listen HERE.
Weathervanes was recorded at Nashville’s Blackbird Studio and features Isbell’s GRAMMY-winning band, the 400 Unit: Derry deBorja (Acoustic Piano, Electric Piano, Organ, Accordion, Synthesizers, Therevox, TackPiano, Background Vocals), Chad Gamble (Drums, Percussion, Congas), Jimbo Hart (Electric Bass, Bass), and Sadler Vaden (Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Electric 12 String, Acoustic 12 String, Background Vocals). Special guests include Amanda Shires (Fiddle, Background Vocals) and acclaimed harmonicist Mickey Raphael (Harmonica on “Strawberry Woman”) with Background Vocals on “If You Insist“ by renowned producer and engineer Sylvia Massy & Ian Rickard and Strings on “Death Wish” by Morgan O’Shaughnessey.
Additionally, the new Sam Jones-directed documentary film, ‘Jason Isbell: Running with Our Eyes Closed’, was released on HBO Max, on April 7th. Isbell takes fans on an unexpected journey through his musical evolution and creative process as he goes into the studio to record his new album Reunions with the 400 Unit. With striking candor and honesty, Isbell lays bare his difficult childhood, his struggles with addiction and relationships, and funneling all his pain and private battles into his music. When the COVID-19 pandemic arrives and forces him and his family into lockdown, Isbell must confront the self-doubt and fears that isolation brings to a recovering addict and artist.
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit are currently on the road for headlining and festival dates throughout the summer.