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Jason Isbell Announces Georgia Blue Charity Album, Shares Cover of R.E.M.’s “Driver 8”: Stream

The 13-track album celebrates Georgia going blue in the 2020 presidential election

Jason Isbell Georgia Blue
Jason Isbell, photo by Ben Kaye
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    Jason Isbell promised that if Georgia went blue in the 2020 presidential election, he’d celebrate by releasing a charity covers album of songs by Georgia artists. Come October 15th, he and his band The 400 Unit will deliver on that promise with the release of the aptly titled, Georgia Blue.

    The 13-track album includes covers of Georgia natives R.E.M., Cat Power, Otis Redding, The Allman Brothers Band, Vic Chesnutt, James Brown, Gladys Knight & The Pips, The Black Crowes, Indio Girls, and more.

    Isbell and the 400 Unit are joined on Georgia Blue by a number of guest collaborators, including Isbell’s wife Amanda Shires, Brandi Carlile, Julien Baker, Béla Fleck, Brittney Spencer, and Adia Victoria.

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    To coincide with today’s announcement, Isbell and the 400 Unit have shared their version of R.E.M.’s “Driver 8” featuring John Paul White. Take a listen below.

    Georgia Blue is a labor of love,” Isbell says in a statement. “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.” Proceeds from the album will specifically benefit three non-profit organizations: Black Voters Matter, Fair Fight, and Georgia STAND-UP.

    “I will admit my motivations were a bit selfish,” Isbell adds. “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… We have roots and 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.”

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    Pre-orders for Georgia Blue are now ongoing. See the album’s artwork and tracklist after the jump.

    Isbell and the 400 Unit are currently out on tour in support of their latest album, Reunions.  Tickets are available for purchase here, but if you’re not vaccinated, don’t bother attending.

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    Georgia Blue Artwork:

    Jason Isbell Georgia Blue

    Georgia Blue Tracklist:
    01. “Nightswimming” feat. Béla Fleck and Chris Thile (originally performed by R.E.M.)
    02. “Honeysuckle Blue” feat. Sadler Vaden (originally performed by Drivin’ N’ Cryin’)
    03. “It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World” feat. Brittney Spencer (originally performed by
    James Brown)
    04. “Cross Bones Style” feat. Amanda Shires (originally performed by Cat Power)
    05. “The Truth” feat. Adia Victoria (originally performed by Precious Bryant)
    06. “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” (originally performed by Otis Redding)
    07. “Sometimes Salvation” feat. Steve Gorman (originally performed by The Black Crowes)
    08. “Kid Fears” feat. Julien Baker and Brandi Carlile (originally performed by Indigo Girls)
    09. “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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