Last November, Jason Isbell promised that if Joe Biden won the presidential vote in Georgia, he would record a covers album featuring songs by artists from the state. Sure enough, Biden did end up getting the Georgia vote, and sure enough, Isbell is making good on his word: Today, Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit announced Georgia Blue, which is set for release on October 15.
The first release from the project is a rendition of R.E.M.’s “Driver 8” with John Paul White. Beyond that, there are appearances from Julien Baker, Brandi Carlile, Amanda Shires, and plenty of others, performing songs by James Brown, Cat Power, The Allman Brothers Band, and more.
Isbell says of the endeavor:
“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.”
Proceeds from the project will benefit a trio of non-profit organizations: Black Voters Matter, Fair Fight, and Georgia STAND-UP.
Check out the Georgia Blue art and tracklist below.
1. “Nightswimming” Feat. Béla Fleck and Chris Thile (R.E.M. cover)
2. “Honeysuckle Blue” Feat. Sadler Vaden (Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ cover)
3. “It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World” Feat. Brittney Spencer (James Brown cover)
4. “Cross Bones Style” Feat. Amanda Shires (Cat Power cover)
5. “The Truth” Feat. Adia Victoria (Precious Bryant cover)
6. “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” (Otis Redding cover)
7. “Sometimes Salvation” Feat. Steve Gorman (The Black Crowes cover)
8. “Kid Fears” Feat. Julien Baker and Brandi Carlile (Indigo Girls cover)
9. “Reverse” (Now It’s Overhead cover)
10. “Midnight Train To Georgia” Feat. Brittney Spencer and John Paul White (Gladys Knight & The Pips cover)
11. “In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed” Feat. Peter Levin (The Allman Brothers Band cover)
12. “I’m Through” (Vic Chesnutt cover)
13. “Driver 8” Feat. John Paul White (R.E.M. cover)
Georgia Blue is out 10/15 via Southeastern Records. Pre-order it here.