Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires Named 2023 Record Store Day Ambassadors

The husband and wife duo will release a special collaborative EP to mark the occasion

jason isbell amanda shires record store day ambassadors
Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires, photos by Ben Kaye

    Ahead of its April 16th celebration, the team behind Record Store Day has named husband/wife duo Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires as its official 2023 ambassadors, marking the first couple to be bestowed the honor.

    Established in 2009, Record Store Day draws attention to independent record shops across the country in a musical era increasingly dominated by digital streaming. With special releases from participating artists and the use of an ambassador, or a particularly record store-friendly musician to promote the day, the celebration helps support one of the last relics of a time when people actually paid for music.

    “It’s so wonderful to be able to formally celebrate what Amanda and Jason mean for us here at Record Store Day with the title of Record Store Day Ambassador”, Record Store Day Co-Founder Carrie Colliton said in a statement. “Even through their social media feeds, it’s such a delight to get to know them, they are both such genuine fans of each other, all genres of music, the album as an art form and most importantly for our purposes, the brick and mortar record store. And I do like that we’re celebrating in a small sense the way music brings people together in such an obvious, romantic way with this… they’re the ‘First Couple’ of record stores, as far as I’m concerned!”


    “We’re so happy to be your Record Store Day Ambassadors for 2023,” Isbell said in a video statement. “We think record stores are so important, not only for the musicians who play in them, like Amanda did so many times this year and I have in the past, but also to the communities and to people who love art.”

    Shires, for her part, shared her own romantic history with the independent record shop. “Over the years I’ve fallen in love many times and many of my greatest loves have been discovered in record stores,” she said. “I fell in love with Leonard Cohen at Ralph’s Records in Lubbock, TX. I found Big Star at Offbeat in Jackson, MS. The people that work in these stores and the community of people that support record stores are passionate and care deeply for music and the place that it holds and occupies in our lives. Record stores are environments where you can be yourself, like what you like and love what you love. I’m proud to be a Record Store Day Ambassador this year and always. Go meet someone at a record store; discover music personally. They’re all out there waiting for ya! Tell them Ol’ Monster Shires sent ya (they probably won’t know what that means though).”

    Watch Isbell and Shires’ remarks over at the Record Store Day website. Official releases related to the celebration will be announced soon, but the ambassadors did announce their own contribution, The Sound Emporium EP, a new release from Isbell and Shires featuring new music from both artists. Check out its artwork below.


    Isbell has a few live dates coming up with his band The 400 Unit, and tickets are on sale now. Shires, meanwhile, last released the album Take It Like a Man, which featured her husband’s guitar skills on the song “Empty Cups.”

    The Sound Emporium EP Artwork:

    jason isbell amanda shires sound emporium ep artwork