Amanda Shires is a violinist and folk singer/songwriter from Lubbock, Texas. Shires has released Top 20 Billboard Americana albums like Down Fell the Doves, My Piece of Land, and To the Sunset, and she is a part of her husband's Grammy Award-winning band, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit. Shires was also a founding member of the Highwomen, a power group which also includes Maren Morris, Natalie Hemby, and Brandi Carlile.
Isbell, who grew up in Alabama, played in bars before he was old enough to be there. As he grew, he found himself in the deep, dark hole of addiction. One morning, drunk in a McDonald's parking lot, he called Shires to ask for help.
When the couple first met, Shires was playing with her band, The Thriftstore Cowgirls, and Isbell was the lead guitarist of the southern rock 'n' roll band The Drive-By Truckers. One of Shires' friends told her that Isbell was famous. To mock him, she made him autograph a Polaroid picture of them, which they still have today.
The couple has been married for almost as long as Isbell has been sober, about 10 years. To add to their special love story, Todd Snider married the couple on February 23, 2013. They have a beautiful daughter, Mercy, and are both as successful as ever in the Americana and country music industry.
How have the road-dogs stayed together so long? The power couple let interviewer Anna Sale take a look into their marriage back in 2014 when they'd only been married for a year:
On Building Trust in Early Marriage:
Jason: We didn't know each other very well, and I was a philanderer in a past life, so it was hard for her to trust me, you know . . . I wasn't an easy person to trust because I hadn't been sober very long, and I felt like I hadn't been a grown-up at that point.
Amanda: Generally, when a woman has a child, the child is always left to the woman. The guy can go off touring or gallivanting around the world. I understand there's sacrifice and everything, but I'm still a selfish person. I still want my own career and freedom and time.
Cheating Is Lose-Lose:
Jason: We don't ignore it, the fact that there are other people vying for our attention. And that when you're on the road, it makes it easier to think you can get away with stuff like that. We discuss it. If somebody's worried, we talk about it. And usually, if you name something, it becomes a lot less difficult to defeat.
What are they doing now?
The Shires-Isbell family lives on a small plot of land in Nashville, Tenn., where their family can have a whole lot of room to roam and change The Nashville Sound. You can catch the couple selling out shows at the Ryman Auditorium in downtown Nashville, performing on awards shows, memorializing the great songwriting legend John Prine, or working with producer Dave Cobb.
The couple's lastest project together was an at-home NPR Tiny Dest duet concert. Due to the pandemic, the couple brought their fans into their house (virtually, of course) for an amazing show.
Jason and Amanda's Best Songs:
Cover Me Up
A song from Isbell's solo record after he found sobriety, Southeastern.
A hauntingly beautiful duet performed by the couple.
When You Need A Train It Never Comes
A song from Shires' 2011 album Carrying Lightning.