With his sold-out, six-night run at the Ryman Auditorium now behind him, Jason Isbell has set his sights on another Nashville institution: the Country Music Hall of Fame. As the museum’s first artist-in-residence in nearly two years, he’ll perform three shows at the CMA Theater in December, scaling down his usual performances to suit the venue’s intimate, unique space.
He’s in good company. Launched in 2003 to salute a “musical master who can be credited with contributing a large and significant body of work to the canon of American popular music,” the Hall of Fame’s artist-in-residence program has already honored thirteen icons, including Guy Clark, Kris Kristofferson, Rosanne Cash, Alan Jackson and Buddy Miller. Isbell’s inclusion makes him the youngest of the bunch, and his music, while rooted in the storytelling tradition of country music, also packs the guitar-heavy punch of bar-band rock & roll. Even so, he’s already earned nods from several of the program’s alumni. Jerry Douglas, the Hall of Fame’s resident artist in 2008, even joined Isbell onstage last weekend for a Celtic-influenced revision of the Tom Petty song “You Got Lucky,” performed during the final moments of Isbell’s Ryman residency.
Jason Isbell will perform at the Country Music Hall of Fame’s CMA Theater on December 5th, 12th and 19th, with tickets going on sale Friday, October 27th.