When you click play on the new Jason Isbell track, “The Assassin,” you might think that the moody tune sounds familiar and a bit like his old band. And you’d be right, Isbell often plays the song live, and he’s giving a respectful nod to his Drive-By Trucker days by including the song on the re-release of his solo debut album, Sirens of the Ditch.
Isbell worked on Sirens of the Ditch alongside co-producer Patterson Hood, a founding member of the Drive-By Truckers and Isbell’s former bandmate, in 2007 at the FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Ala. Hood released his own solo record in the early 2000s, Killers and Stars, with “The Assassin” as the third track. Isbell liked the tune so much that he adopted it for the deluxe version of Sirens of the Ditch and added his soothing vocals and a full band (the talented 400 Unit), breathing new life into the song.
In addition to the dreamy Americana of “The Assassin,” Isbell has also leaked another new song on the record, “Whisper,” a ballad with a little dose of Southern rock.
“The Assassin” and “Whisper” will be joined by two more previously unreleased tracks, “Racetrack Romeo” and “Crystal Clear,” to give the re-release of Isbell’s first solo album a fresh sound and new perspective that fans can latch onto.
Isbell’s deluxe edition of Sirens of the Ditch comes out on July 13. In addition to buying mp3s or a CD, fans can also snag the re-release on vinyl. Collectors will want to head to their local independent record store to get one of the clear pieces of vinyl, while those seeking a super limited edition version of the record will need to order from Vinyl Me Please to receive a brown and cream color variant version.