JASON ISBELL & THE 400 UNIT, THE STATE ROOM, Thursday, Sept. 5, 8 p.m., Sold out
Jason Isbell closed down the Utah Arts Festival with a fine Sunday-night set that included a few songs from his excellent new album, Southeastern, as well as some older favorites from his past solo efforts and time with the Drive-by Truckers. This week's stop at The State Room, though, is the first time we'll get the full experience of that new album on a headlining tour, and I'm really looking forward to it. Isbell has been consistently creating one of the finest catalogs in American roots-rock for a good decade or so, and Southeastern just might be the best album of his career. It's also the first he's done since tackling past drinking demons with a little help from his wife Amanda Shires and buddy Ryan Adams, among others, and unlike far too many rock and rollers, sobriety seems to have only improved his knack for killer hooks and piercing lyrics. Joining Isbell on the bill is T. Hardy Morris, frontman of Dead Confederate currently on a solo jaunt. This double-bill of Southern songwriter should make for a special night. It's sold out, so you'll have to hit the Internet for a ticket, or hang out at The State Room on show night and hope for the best from a kind stranger on the sidewalk.