Romantic and unflinching in its self-examination, the autobiographical song first appeared as the leadoff track on 2013’s Southeastern – the solo album that kick-started Isbell’s incredible run of critical and commercial success. Presented at Nashville’s famous Ryman Auditorium with a reverent audience drinking in each note, the live rendition takes on an extra element of sharpness, a detailed reflection of a man saved by love.
Isbell’s lilting drawl floats over lyrics about the heady travails of a young man spinning out of control, then rises to a conquering shout as he chronicles his struggle with alcohol and eventual marriage to singer-songwriter Amanda Shires, who also plays fiddle in the 400 Unit. Shires’ harmonies and fiddle join in the mix, augmented by a searing hot slide guitar solo, but it’s Isbell’s show — his voice and acoustic guitar underscoring the track’s stark beauty.
Shortly after Live from the Ryman’s release, Isbell and the band will return to the Mother Church of country music for another multi-night residency. They’ll perform six concerts spanning October 22rd to October 28th and then finish the year off with a half-dozen shows around the South in December.