In October, Jason Isbell will expand his now-annual Ryman Auditorium residency to a full week of shows, spread across nine days. On Wednesday, Isbell’s label Southeastern Records announced the full lineup of opening artists for the 2019 residency, most of whom have deep roots in the blues community.
Singer-songwriter Amanda Shires, a member of Isbell’s band the 400 Unit, as well as his wife, will open the first show on October 18th. For the next six shows, it’s a blues-heavy group of performers that includes fife-and-drum artist Sharde Thomas on October 19th; Hill Country blues singer R.L. Boyce on October 20th; blues guitar prodigy Christone “Kingfish” Ingram on October 22nd; Bentonia bluesman Jimmy “Duck” Holmes on October 23rd; blues-rock outfit North Mississippi Allstars on October 25th; and gospel vocal group the Blind Boys of Alabama on October 26th. All shows are sold out.
— Southeastern Records (@SoutheasternRec) September 18, 2019
More recently, Isbell has been moonlighting as a backup musician for the Highwomen, the supergroup made up of Shires, Brandi Carlile, Maren Morris, and Natalie Hemby. He also makes an appearance on Sheryl Crow’s new album Threads, joining the performer on a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Everything Is Broken.”
Just before his run of Ryman Auditorium shows, Isbell will preside over the inaugural ShoalsFest in Florence, Alabama, near where he was raised. In addition to Isbell and the 400 Unit, performers include Crow, Shires, and Mavis Staples.