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Isbell promotes compassion on new Americana disc

Associated Press logo Associated Press 6/14/2017 By DAVID BAUDER, AP Entertainment Writer
This image released by All Eyes Media shows singer Jason Isbell, whose latest album, " The Nashville Sound," was released this week. (Danny Clinch via AP) © The Associated Press This image released by All Eyes Media shows singer Jason Isbell, whose latest album, " The Nashville Sound," was released this week. (Danny Clinch via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — Jason Isbell was motivated on his breakthrough 2013 album "Southeastern" to tell his story about quitting drinking and turning his life around. He was driven on the 2015 follow-up, "Something More Than Free," to prove newfound success wasn't a fluke.

What's next? Now established as a leader in the Americana genre, Isbell's purpose is deceptively difficult — maintain a high standard of songwriting with the newness of discovery gone. He's taken a step in that direction with Friday's release of "The Nashville Sound," with his band, the 400 Unit.

His new songs speak to and about people in middle America dealing with a changing culture and economy, growing up and mature love. "If We Were Vampires" is a love song about life's impermanence, and "White Man's World" confronts subtle racism.

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