Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit performed the slinking “Running With Our Eyes Closed,” along with an impassioned rendition of “Overseas,” as part of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert’s ongoing #PlayAtHomeSeries.
The songwriter and his socially distanced band combined seamlessly for the performances: “Running With Our Eyes Closed” for the actual show, “Overseas” as a web exclusive. For the latter, Isbell and the band surrounded the song’s steady rock pulse with bluesy guitar and swooning fiddle and synths. Toward the middle, Isbell knocked out a dizzying guitar solo before emerging with a bellow, but then brought “Overseas” to a close with a near-whisper: “Does your heart rest easy where you are?/And do they treat you like a star?/Or do they call you refugee/From overseas?”
“Overseas” appears on Isbell’s most recent album, Reunions, which was released last month. He’s already done his fair share of livestreamed performances during the COVID-19 pandemic, notably marking the release of Reunions with a crowdless concert at Nashville’s Brooklyn Bowl. He also recently took part in an all-star tribute to John Prine, performing “Hello in There” with his wife, musician Amanda Shires. Wednesday, June 17th, Isbell will participate in the Keep the Music Playing livestream concert, which will raise money for the Music Health Alliance.
As for actual tour dates, Isbell and the 400 Unit recently announced a string of shows with Lucinda Williams that will take place next summer.