- Image via Shires' Facebook page
When we last heard from Jason Isbell, he was announcing
a now sold-out three-night run at the Ryman Auditorium this October, being nominated
for three Americana Music Association Awards and neatly putting the kibosh
on fisticuffs in the audience. Today, Rolling Stone
debuted Isbell and wife Amanda Shires' haunting take on Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA" The song is, as you probably know, the title track from The Boss' 1984 hit album, and the original recording's anthemic bombast does a sort of reverse "Summertime" on you if you don't listen to the lyrics — it's a war protest song, outlining the harsh reality of life for vets after Vietnam, which seemed to be lost
on Ronald Reagan at the time. Isbell and Shires' rendition leads off Dead Man's Town
, a track-by-track tribute to Born in the USA
due Sept. 16 via local indie Lightning Rod Records, the same imprint Isbell, Shires, Billy Joe Shaver, John McMurty and Joe Pug call home. Several locals have contributed, including The Apache Relay doing "Cover Me," Holly Williams on "No Surrender" and Justin Townes Earle covering "Glory Days," while other notables like Blitzen Trapper, Low and Joe Pug also make appearances.
Hear the track below or over at Rolling Stone. Isbell and Shires say their version is inspired by Springsteen's Nebraska-era demo of the song. Take a listen to that after the jump.