Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, 3/31/12

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit
Back Forty Beer Co.
Gadsden, AL
March 31, 2012



A couple of weeks back, a new venue (of sorts) was born in the form of a brewing company in the sleepy small of Gadsden, AL.

Being a centrally located city — with Birmingham, Atlanta and Nashville being one, two and three hours away respectively — it is far from a live music hot spot. It does boast an annual music festival that typically books such solid acts as Bo Bice, Bret Michaels, Daughtry and, well… you get the point. Naturally when it was announced that former Drive-By Trucker, Jason Isbell, would be playing a set to close out a day — organized by Back Forty Beer Co.— that celebrated many aspects of the city’s culture,  a whole lot of folks in the town who are accustomed to driving a distance to catch a show were thrilled, causing the event to sell out well in advance.

Dubbed The Front Porch Festival, the event was to be one that was outdoors for the entire occasion. Nature had different plans.

About 30 minutes before the evening’s music was to begin, the clouds broke and therefore, the festivities moved inside.

Taking the stage at approximately 9:00pm, Isbell and the Unit took the occasion to reel through a strong set that was demonstrative of just how much talent was kept under the Hood during the Truckers days. Behind the power of the 400 Unit and of course, Isbell’s own guitar dominance, his vocal prowess was front and center; delivering  hearty lyrics with enough soul to stir every fan and enough grit to rattle the mountains of bottled Naked Pig and Truck Stop Honey (the beer that took away the silver medal at the 2010 Great American Beer Festival) that were stacked high in the impromptu venue.

In speaking with the event’s organizers afterward, it was clear that the night was a smashing success and it seems that it was his hope that this night was only the beginning for shows at the Back 40. Cheers!


Click the thumbnail(s) to view photos from the show by David Shehi