Amanda Shires and Jason Isbell have become the premier power couple in country rock, not just by releasing great music, but also by speaking their minds even as it alienated some parts of their fanbase. Now, the dynamic duo have taken their convictions to a national late-night audience, inviting The Tonight Show into their stained-glass studio for a performance of their new abortion-rights single “The Problem”.
The song originally dropped in September with intimate lyrics that explored the dizzying headspace of a young woman who sees her life spinning out of control. Then on January 22nd, which also happened to be the 48th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Shires reworked the track with a star-studded crew of women into “Our Problem”. But for her appearance on Fallon, Shires reverted back to the song’s earlier form, returning the article to the title and restoring its aching second verse. “I’m trying not to think of names,” she sings while wearing a sweater emblazoned with the words MY BODY MY CHOICE. “Will you look at me the same?” Check out “The Problem” below. Proceeds from the single benefit Yellowhammer Fund, an Alabama-based reproductive justice organization.
Shires and Isbell have been responsible for some of the most vital new music of the last few years. As part of the supergroup The Highwomen, Shires contributed to one of the best albums of 2019, and the next year Isbell and his band the 400 Unit dropped Reunions, one of the Top 50 albums of 2020.