During a conversation with Tommy Vietor on the podcast Pod Save America, Jason Isbell addressed the backlash the Dixie Chicks faced in the country music community following Natalie Maines 2003 statement criticizing President George W. Bush.
Isbell said he initially thought the blowback was because the Dixie Chicks were dissimilar from the majority of their audience. But when he played the same venue the Dixie Chicks played when Maines made the comments that led to the trio being shut out of the country music industry, he realized that it was sexism, not political differences, that led to the group being ousted from country radio.
"It happened because she was a woman," Isbell said. "People didn't want to hear her opinion. And it gave them the opportunity to push another woman out of the entertainment business."
Isbell also mentioned Eric Church's recent Rolling Stone interview in which Church said he doesn't support the NRA.
"Watch Eric Church's record sales. They're not going to drop," Isbell said. "Nothing is going to happen to Eric Church. Guys like me can say whatever we want to say."
Isbell, who's long been outspoken about his beliefs, said he believes it's the duty of American citizens to stay informed, form their own opinions on current events and encourage leaders to do what's right.
"It's your job to stay reasonably educated... about what goes on in your country and try to do what's right and encourage people in leadership positions to do what's right," Isbell said. "In order to love an institution you most certainly do not have to agree with every decision they make."
Listen to the entire conversation below.
Isbell recently took home the Americana Music Award for Album of the Year (for The Nashville Sound), Song of the Year (for "If We Were Vampires") and Duo/Group of the Year along with his band the 400 Unit.
Next month, Isbell will play four shows at the Ryman Auditorium on Oct. 22, Oct. 24, Oct. 26 and Oct. 27. On Oct. 19 Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit will release Live From the Ryman, a live album of recordings from the band's run at the Ryman auditorium in 2017.