Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit to Release ‘Georgia Blue’ Benefit Album in October
Back in November, during the tension-riddled time between Election Day and Results Day, the guitar-wielding, Twitter-hot-take-firing Jason Isbell posted a bold claim on the bird app: “If Biden wins Georgia I’m gonna make a charity covers album of my favorite Georgia songs.”
If Biden wins Georgia I’m gonna make a charity covers album of my favorite Georgia songs- REM, Gladys Knight, Vic Chesnutt, Allmans, Cat Power, Precious Bryant, Now It’s Overhead, etc… And damn is that gonna be fun
— Jason Isbell (@JasonIsbell) November 6, 2020
True to his word, Isbell and his band, The 400 Unit, have just announced that Georgia Blue will be released on Oct. 15 via his own Southeastern Records. Proceeds will benefit three nonprofit organizations fighting for voting rights, education, and accessibility across the Peach State — Black Voters Matter, Fair Fight, and the Georgia Strategic Alliance for New Directions and Unified Policies (Georgia STAND-UP)
The 13-track compilations of covers features a diverse slate of special guests like Chris Thile and Béla Fleck, as well as family and friends like Amanda Shires and Sadler Vaden. Like his upcoming eight-night run at Nashville’s storied Ryman Auditorium, Isbell also highlights a number of women — specifically Black women — on Georgia Blue, including Brandi Carlile, Julien Baker, Brittney Spencer and Adia Victoria.
The song selections themselves are equally wide-ranging in terms of genres. All of Isbell’s favorite bands mentioned in his original tweet are included, as well as choice picks from R&B and soul legends like James Brown and Otis Redding.
In conjunction with the news, Isbell has also released the first single, an appropriately jangly cover of R.E.M.’s “Driver 8,” from the Athens band’s 1985 LP Fables of the Reconstruction, featuring Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter John Paul White.
Listen to the song and check out complete track list for Georgia Blue below: