Wearing an acoustic guitar and a wide grin, Jason Isbell rejoined his former bandmates in Drive-By Truckers, Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley, during yesterday’s nomination ceremony for the 2017 Americana Honors & Awards. Seated in a row, the three Alabamans strummed their way through a nostalgic performance of Isbell’s “Outfit,” with Hood singing harmonies and Cooley chiming in on lead guitar.
A country-rock power ballad about regrets, reminiscences and fatherly advice, “Outfit” first appeared on the Drive-By Truckers’ Decoration Day in 2003, introducing Isbell – just 24 years old at the time – as one of the band’s three frontmen. Hood, Cooley and Isbell shared that role until 2007, when Isbell left the lineup and launched the solo career that would eventually propel him to the top of the Americana genre. What was once considered a somewhat contentious split is now water under the bridge, though, with the musicians reuniting several times since to perform old staples. In the video above, they’re all smiles, performing a fan favorite that once dominated their live shows.
“Y’all should start a band together, I think,” joked the Milk Carton Kids’ Joey Ryan, who co-hosted the ceremony with partner Kenneth Pattengale. Held roughly four months before the Americana Awards & Honors show takes over the Ryman Auditorium on September 13th, the nomination event also shone a light on contenders like Sturgill Simpson, who’s up for three awards, and Rodney Crowell, who is nominated win two categories.