As the world waits to find out if the state of Georgia goes blue for the first time since 1992, Alabama native Jason Isbell's rooting 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 and leader of the 400 Unit promised that if the ongoing vote count in Georgia goes his way, he'll celebrate with a special recording project. Isbell tweeted that following a Biden win, "I'm gonna make a charity covers album of my favorite Georgia songs- REM, Gladys Knight, Vic Chesnutt, Allmans, Cat Power, Precious Bryant, Now It's Overhead, etc... And damn is that gonna be fun."
Brandi Carlile, a collaborator of Isbell and Amanda Shires on the Highwomen album, suggested 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.
Other requests in the replies ranged from songs by Isbell's former band Drive-By Truckers and Americana mainstays Drivin' N Cryin' to selections from classic artists (Otis Redding, Little Richard), Athens' punk and new wave legends (B-52s, Pylon) and Atlanta's hip-hop and R&B game-changers (Outkast, TLC). Some even suggested Atlanta's Grammy award-winning heavy metal masters, Mastodon (for the record, Brent Hinds is a great banjo picker).
Country requests were slim, aside from one fan hoping for Jerry Reed's version of "Guitar Man." Georgia's been home to legends (Bill Anderson), contemporary superstars (Trisha Yearwood) and unsung greats ("Seven Bridges Road" songwriter Steve Young) with songs that might suit Isbell's plans. And if something from the country, folk and Americana side of the spectrum makes it onto this proposed new album, actor and musician Ed Helms is willing to chip in on banjo.
Whatever songs he chooses, Georgia's clearly got a great lineage of recording artists. Just about any track listing will make this covers album a celebratory listen if you agree with Isbell's presidential election wishes (or a musical chaser if a Trump loss is a tough pill to swallow)-.
As of Friday morning (Oct. 6), Biden holds a small lead over President Trump in the Peach State, but the race is still too close to call.
In other Isbell news, he sings a soulful duet version of "Words of a Fool" with Barry Gibb on the Bee Gees legend's forthcoming album Greenfields: The Gibb Brothers Songbook, Vol. 1 (out Jan. 8). Gibb's album is chock full of Americana and country music guests, including Miranda Lambert, Keith Urban and Dolly Parton. It's Isbell's first new recording since the May release of Reunions.