Jason Isbell is no stranger to Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, whose pin-drop acoustics and legendary stage hosted the singer more than a half-dozen times in 2015 alone. Even so, last month’s three-song set at the Ryman proved to be a different sort of gig for Isbell, who made his official solo debut at the Grand Ole Opry — roughly halfway through the radio show’s annual stay at the Ryman, its home for nearly half of the 20th century — on December 15, 2015.
In the video above, Isbell gives the 400 Unit the night off, teaming up instead with wife Amanda Shires for a soft-spun, stripped-down performance of “Flagship.” Although the pair appeared on the Opry several weeks earlier, they did so under Shires’ name, with Isbell serving mostly as backup guitarist and harmony singer. This time around, the Something More Than Free songwriter takes the wheel, steering the duo through an acoustic folk ballad filled with swooning fiddle and crooning harmonies.
Isbell and Shires, along with the rest of the 400 Unit, set sail on the Cayamo Cruise this weekend, kicking off an international tour schedule that includes runs in Australia, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and the U.S.