Jason Isbell was one of the guests this past weekend on Live From Here, the musical-variety series hosted by musician Chris Thile on public radio and SiriusXM.
As seen in the above clip, Isbell performed a somber rendition of the Grammy-winning “If We Were Vampires,” one of the emotional highpoints of his 2017 LP The Nashville Sound. The tune, inspired by his wife and fellow musician, Amanda Shires, features her on the album version, but for this appearance Isbell was joined by Chris “Critter” Eldridge on guitar and Thile, who contributed gentle harmony and backed him on mandolin.
“It’s a big deal to play these songs with these two gentlemen… two of the best musicians on earth,” Isbell said of Thile and Eldridge. He also explained to Thile that in between making albums he spends much of his time at home “toddler wrangling” and “playing [Black] Sabbath riffs in the closet.” Isbell and Shires, who were married in 2013, are the parents of 3-year-old Mercy Rose.
In addition to “Vampires,” Isbell performed The Nashville Sound tracks “Last of My Kind” and “White Man’s World” and “Live Oak” from 2013’s Southeastern.
Live From the Ryman, recorded during Isbell and band the 400 Unit’s 2017 residency at the historic Nashville venue, is out now. Upcoming performances for Isbell include the Tibet House US Benefit Concert at New York’s Carnegie Hall February 7th and the 2019 Cayamo Cruise sailing from Tampa, Florida, on February 10th.