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Stone River Boys "Lovers Prison"

We were cruising in the Hill Country this past weekend, out to Luckenbach under the live oaks for a Paul Thorn concert. We drove back under a canopy of stars with the moon roof open, even seeing the Milky Way, with no ambient light from the city to compete with it. There were lots of towers, mostly for cell phones with lights flashing atop. I was reminded of growing up, how I quickened looking at the radio towers, blinking magically, beacons of mass communication. I loved radio. I loved sitting behind the mic in the evening hours, with the ability to play music and touch lives, talk to callers. To just be so centered in what you are doing that all else falls away. I remember many times having some persnickety cold or headache when I walked in, that would magically vanish when I got into the work flow.

There was an engineer I worked with for years, who came in for the overnight shift when I was working at WHN in New York. Every time he worked the same hours as me, he would slide the control room door open just a sliver, and smile seductively with his eyes half closed. He would announce that he was "The Buzzard." He would go on to tell me, "Now you understand that The Buzzard don't kill nothing...but if he should find something on the ground, he would make sure to pick the bones clean." Tantalizing! The same performance every night, like a mantra! And then he would close the door and hang out in the shop the rest of the night.

I think he would have loved the Stone River Boys. A bit of theater, a bit of rock and roll, and some stone country from Bakersfield in the mix. We recorded this tune a month ago during the Music Fog Marathon at Threadgill's. "Lovers Prison" comes from their Love On The Dial CD. Oh, I might just have to go see them tonight or next Wednesday at the Continental Club in Austin. And then lookout Europe, here they come!

- Jessie Scott

Lovers Prison - Love On The Dial


Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit - Here We Rest

Now that we have made the acquaintance of the town of Muscle Shoals, where we traveled for the Paul Thorn concert filming we did in late January, it is interesting how often things keep pointing back in that direction. The latest is Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit, recording at the legendary FAME Studios there, and at the NuttHouse in Sheffield, AL. Their new album Here We Rest, which comes out today, is named after the state of Alabama’s original motto. Jason, a native of Greenhill, AL returned to the state, following almost two years on the road.

Back in 2001, Jason joined the Drive-By Truckers and toured with them for the release of Southern Rock Opera. He went solo in 2007, and subsequently released a solo CD, and then the first with the 400 Unit. By the way, The "400 Unit" was the former colloquial name of the psychiatric ward of Florence, Alabama's Eliza Coffee Memorial Hospital. They keep on moving, as they are playing a ton of places. Tomorrow you will find them in Greenville, South Carolina, with Hayes Carll. No rest after all, I guess!

- Jessie Scott

Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit