With James McMurtry. 8 p.m. Saturday, November 5, at Firehouse Saloon, 5930 Southwest Fwy., 713-977-1962 or www.firehousesaloon.com.
The title of Jason Isbell's third solo album, Here We Rest, was taken from the first motto of his home state of Alabama, which was long ago dropped in favor of something far more antagonistic. Though the phrase was originally meant to suggest an idyllic retreat from a troubled world, Isbell now uses it ironically, as characters in his new batch of finely observed story-songs struggle with fractured relationships, economic collapse and returning uncertainly from war. Rest not only features some of the former Drive-By Trucker's most perceptive writing, Isbell's musical palette is broader, ranging from electric Southern-rock anthems to a New Orleans shuffle, slices of bluegrass and country, as well as a fine taste of shimmering, classic Muscle Shoals soul.
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