We are very honored and excited to announce that we have a pair of tickets to give away to some lucky Phawker reader to see Jason Isbell at the Keswick Theater on Thursday February 5th! What’s that you say? ‘Who is Jason Tinkerbell?’ We’re gonna forget you said that and meet you on the other side of this New York Times profile from 2013:
He found fame early and wasn’t ready for it. When he was 22, he joined the Drive-By Truckers, the brilliant and hard-living Alabama band. He quickly wrote several of the group’s signature songs, including the title cut of its 2003 album, “Decoration Day,” and a beautiful bummer of a tune called “Goddamn Lonely Love.” He almost as quickly burned out.
His first marriage, to Shonna Tucker, the band’s bassist at the time, came unstitched in public. There were some ugly scenes. Isbell’s fondness for Jack Daniel’s did not become him. “Some people get drunk and become kind of sweet,” Patterson Hood, one of the Drive-By Truckers’ principal singer-songwriters, told me. “Jason wasn’t one of those people.” Isbell left the band in 2007.
What followed was an unhappy period of wandering. He made a few mediocre solo records. He became bloated from drinking. Everyone who followed his work with the Truckers knew he was one of America’s thoroughbred songwriters, with a knack for rueful melodies and the kind of grainy blue-collar detail that pins a song in your mind, like the character in “Outfit” who winds up back in “tech school/just to memorize Frigidaire parts.” But he’d lost his way.
His resurrection began when his single, “Alabama Pines,” won Song of the Year at the 2012 Americana Awards, which honor the kind of rebellious and pared-down roots music that used to be called alternative country. […] But his real comeback wasn’t possible until February 2012, when his girlfriend (now wife), the singer and songwriter Amanda Shires, with the help of his manager Traci Thomas and the musician Ryan Adams, got him into rehab.
Isbell spent two weeks in Cumberland Heights, an alcohol-and-drug-treatment center in Nashville. His head cleared. When he came out, the whiskey weight drained from his cells, and he shed 40 pounds almost overnight. Best of all, that summer he began writing the songs that make up “Southeastern.” The record, which evokes powerful and intimate classics like Bruce Springsteen’s “Tunnel of Love” and Rosanne Cash’s “Interiors,” is a breakthrough for Isbell — prickly with loss, forgiveness, newfound sobriety and second chances. MORE
OK, now are you ready to win some Jason Isbell tix? I thought so. To qualify to win, all you have to do is sign up for our mailing list (see right, below the masthead). Trust us, this is something you want to do. In addition to breaking news alerts and Phawker updates, you also get advanced warning about groovy concert ticket giveaways and other free swag opportunities like this one! After signing up, send us an email at FEED@PHAWKER.COM telling us a much, with the magic words COVER ME UP in the subject line. If you are already on our mailing list, just send us an email saying as much. Either way, please include your full name and a mobile number for confirmation. The 14th Phawker reader to email us with the magic words wins! PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR FULL NAME AND MOBILE NUMBER FOR CONFIRMATION. Good luck and godspeed!