Jason Isbell has left Drive-By Truckers. This is sad news to me. I have only seen one show by DBT at this point, but I was mezmerized by the three-guitar attack and the band’s turn-taking singer-songwriter left-middle-right exchange.
Stereogum picked up on Patterson Hood’s MySpace blog post:
It’s with a wide range of emotions and feelings that I’m announcing that we have parted ways with Jason. The split, which I consider extremely amicable is the result of a period of personal and artistic growth from all sides which has left us with differing dreams and goals.
It is my sincere and and adamant hope that everyone will support all of us, and by that I mean our band and Jason’s, as we deal with this transition. Jason’s tenure in this band has been one of the greatest things that has ever happened to me on a personal and musical level and our love for him and his music is in no way changed or endangered by our collective decision to move into different directions.
Blogger and DBT fan, The Weight, looks at it like this:
He (Jason) has been a part of this band since 2001 and has joined them on their ride from obscurity to critic favorites. He is a big reason for their recent success. His writing credits include what has become my favorite DBT lyrics in “Outfit”. Whereas the Truckers will be a different band without him, even with all he has provided to them, I am certain that they will be able to carry on without missing a beat. And Jason will be better off in the long run. He was the third guitar in that three guitar attack and he is much too talented in playing and writing to be the third wheel. He deserves this opportunity to advance his solo career, where he can get the attention and respect his talents warrant.
Further complicating this situation is the fact that Jason is married to Shonna Tucker, DBT’s bass player, who remains in the band. Jason is currently on tour with his own band. He’s playing Iowa City tomorrow night. I wish I could be there to support the man because he fucking rips.