Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit to Cover R.E.M, Black Crowes, Indigo Girls, James Brown, Cat Power on Georgia Blue

What started off as a nice thought on Twitter has become a reality. Jason Isbell teased that if Georgia went blue in the 2020 election, he’d hunker down and record a covers album that featured songs from artists from the Peach State. Now, it’s finally on the way.

Titled Georgia Blue, Isbell, along with a slew of special guests, are covering songs from R.E.M., Drivn’ N’ Cryin’, James Brown, Cat Power, Precious Bryant, Otis Redding, The Black Crowes, Indigo Girls, Now It’s Overhead, Gladys Knight & The Pips, The Allman Brothers Band and Vic Chesnutt.

If that’s not enough, the artists Isbell enlisted to help him out is just as impressive. Julien Baker, Brandi Carlile, Béla Fleck, ex-Black Crowes drummer Steve Gorman, Peter Levin, Amanda Shires, Brittney Spencer, Chris Thile, Sadler Vaden, Adia Victoria and John Paul White all contribute to Georgia Blue.

Proceeds from the collection will go to Black Voters Matter, Fair Fight and Georgia STAND-UP.

You can hear his cover of R.E.M.’s “Drive 8” with White below.

Here’s what Isbell had to say about the project:

Georgia Blue is a labor of love. On election day 2020, when I saw that there was a good chance the state of Georgia might go blue, I came up with an idea: to record an album of Georgia-related songs as a thank you to the state and donate the money to a Georgia-based non-profit organization. I will admit my motivations were a bit selfish. For years, I’ve been looking for an excuse to record these songs with my band and some friends. The songs on this album are some of my favorite Georgia-related songs…We have roots and blues and R&B, so we enlisted some brilliant artists to help us pull off songs by Precious Bryant, James Brown and Gladys Knight. My favorite part of the Georgia Blue recording process was having the opportunity to work with these very special artists, and I thank them: Amanda Shires, Brittney Spencer, Adia Victoria, Brandi Carlile, Julien Baker, Bèla Fleck, Chris Thile, Steve Gorman, Peter Levin and John Paul White. I hope you enjoy listening to these recordings as much as we enjoyed making them. Keep listening to good music and fighting the good fight.

Georgia Blue is out on Oct. 15. Check out the full tracklisting below.

1. “Nightswimming” feat. Béla Fleck and Chris Thile (originally performed by R.E.M.)
2. “Honeysuckle Blue” feat. Sadler Vaden (originally performed by Drivin’ N’ Cryin’)
3. “It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World” feat. Brittney Spencer (originally performed by
James Brown)
4. “Cross Bones Style” feat. Amanda Shires (originally performed by Cat Power)
5. “The Truth” feat. Adia Victoria (originally performed by Precious Bryant)
6. “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” (originally performed by Otis Redding)
7. “Sometimes Salvation” feat. Steve Gorman (originally performed by The Black Crowes)
8. “Kid Fears” feat. Julien Baker and Brandi Carlile (originally performed by Indigo Girls)
9. “Reverse” (originally performed by Now It’s Overhead)
10. “Midnight Train To Georgia” feat. Brittney Spencer and John Paul White (originally performed by Gladys Knight & The Pips)
11. “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” feat. Peter Levin (originally performed by The Allman
Brothers Band)
12. “I’m Through” (originally performed by Vic Chesnutt)
13. “Driver 8” feat. John Paul White (originally performed by R.E.M.)

IMPACT

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