Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, ‘Here We Rest’ (Lightning Rod)
The ex–Drive-By Truckers guitarist shares his former band’s lyrical penchant for the dark end of the street. Musically, however, he’s more like a latter-day Lowell George, the guiding light of eccentrically polyglot ’70s roots rockers Little Feat. Isbell’s third solo album is earthy and unpretentiously eclectic – bluesy shuffles, gospel tinges – and you almost expect Bonnie Raitt’s voice to waft in. Isbell’s drawl is so amiable, you might not notice that the songs are about misfit burnouts fleeing everything, including themselves. Yeah, he’s still a Trucker.