As the world waited last November to find out if the state of Georgia would go blue for the first time since 1992, Alabama native Jason Isbell rooted on social media for the home of his Atlanta Braves to favor Joe Biden and the Democratic Party over Republican President Donald Trump. The singer-songwriter went as far as to claim he'd record some of his favorite songs by Georgia artists once Biden won the Peach State.
Isbell delivers on that promise with the appropriately-titled Georgia Blue, a new album which arrives digitally on Oct. 15, with vinyl and CD releases to follow on Nov. 26. All proceeds will benefit Black Voters Matter, Fair Fight and Georgia STAND-UP.
Brandi Carlile, a collaborator of Isbell and Amanda Shires on the Highwomen album, suggested in November that she contribute to a cover of "Kid Fears" by the Indigo Girls, with Isbell singing the Michael Stipe part. Actor Jane Lynch offered her services as a harmony vocalist, which would make for a musical trio almost as unlikely in past years as Georgians picking a Democrat for the White House.
Lynch isn't mentioned on the track list, but we're for sure getting that Carlile and Isbell duet. Additional guests include Béla Fleck, Chris Thile, Brittney Spencer, Adia Victoria, Steve Gorman, Julien Baker, John Paul White and Peter Levin plus Isbell's 400 Unit bandmates Amanda Shires and Sadler Vaden.
"'Georgia Blue' is a labor of love," Isbell said in a statement. "On election day 2020, when I saw that there was a good chance the state of Georgia might go blue, I came up with an idea: to record an album of Georgia-related songs as a thank you to the state and donate the money to a Georgia-based non-profit organization. I will admit my motivations were a bit selfish. For years, I've been looking for an excuse to record these songs with my band and some friends. The songs on this album are some of my favorite Georgia-related songs... I hope you enjoy listening to these recordings as much as we enjoyed making them. Keep listening to good music and fighting the good fight."
A cover of R.E.M.'s "Driver 8" featuring White accompanied the album release news.
Georgia Blue Tracklist
1. "Nightswimming" feat. Béla Fleck and Chris Thile (originally performed by R.E.M.)
2. "Honeysuckle Blue" feat. Sadler Vaden (originally performed by Drivin' N' Cryin')
3. "It's A Man's Man's Man's World" feat. Brittney Spencer (originally performed by James Brown)
4. "Cross Bones Style" feat. Amanda Shires (originally performed by Cat Power)
5. "The Truth" feat. Adia Victoria (originally performed by Precious Bryant)
6. "I've Been Loving You Too Long" (originally performed by Otis Redding)
7. "Sometimes Salvation" feat. Steve Gorman (originally performed by The Black Crowes)
8. "Kid Fears" feat. Julien Baker and Brandi Carlile (originally performed by Indigo Girls)
9. "Reverse" (originally performed by Now It's Overhead)
10. "Midnight Train To Georgia" feat. Brittney Spencer and John Paul White (originally performed by Gladys Knight & The Pips)
11. "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" feat. Peter Levin (originally performed by The Allman Brothers Band)
12. "I'm Through" (originally performed by Vic Chesnutt)
13. "Driver 8" feat. John Paul White (originally performed by R.E.M.)