The annual Cayamo Cruise set sail last week, with artists like Emmylou Harris, the Mavericks, Buddy Miller and Maggie Rose performing to an audience of Americana music fans. But it wasn’t solely a rootsy affair — Sadler Vaden, the guitarist in Jason Isbell’s backing band the 400 Unit, played up his rock & roll roots during his nightly after-hours concerts with special guests.
Vaden enlisted Isbell and dobro master Jerry Douglas for one particularly spirited performance, re-creating the Allman Brothers Band’s “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed.” Backed by the 400 Unit and Gregg Allman’s onetime keyboard player Peter Levin, Vaden led Isbell and Douglas through a nearly 15-minute musical excursion, trading greasy licks with Isbell on guitar.
Presented by cruise promoters Sixthman, who staged the fourth annual Outlaw Country Cruise in January, the 2019 Cayamo Cruise also featured Keb’ Mo’, Billy Bragg, Indigo Girls and Dawes. The 2020 edition of Cayamo is set for February 3rd through 10th.
Isbell, with Vaden and the 400 Unit, will launch a month-long tour in June with Father John Misty. The band is also set to headline the 2019 Moon River Festival in Chattanooga, Tennessee, which features a set by Josh Ritter, whose upcoming album Isbell produced.