See Jason Isbell's Ripping Cover of Tom Petty's 'Refugee' - Rolling Stone
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See Jason Isbell’s Ripping Cover of Tom Petty’s ‘Refugee’

Americana hero paid tribute to the late rock star on the opening night of his residency at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium

Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit paid their respects to Tom Petty on Sunday night, kicking off a six-day residency at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium with a 19-song set that included the Damn the Torpedoes hit “Refugee.”

The performance was the latest in a string of Petty covers from Isbell and company. Two days earlier, the group closed out a festival gig in Memphis with Petty’s “American Girl,” with the frontman himself performing a solo version of “Even the Losers” earlier in the night. Last week, 400 Unit guitarist Sadler Vaden appeared at a sold-out “Tom Petty Celebration” show in Nashville, with nearly a dozen bands hopping onstage to perform hits from the Heartbreakers catalog. Back in 2013, Isbell and Shires even remade “You Got Lucky” into a stomping, Celtic-inspired folksong during the Austin incarnation of Petty Fest.

The respect between the singers appears to have been mutual. Petty, whose side-project, Mudcrutch, shared a bill with the 400 Unit at the 2016 Summer Camp Music Festival in Chillicothe, Illinois, was an Isbell fan as far back as 2013, when he Tweeted a picture of a turntable spinning a copy of Isbell’s Southeastern.

Isbell will also return to the road in 2018, announcing a new string of dates.

January 18-20 – Birmingham, AL @ Alabama Theatre
January 21 – Little Rock, AR @ Robinson Center
January 23 – Cedar Rapids, IA @ Paramount Theatre
January 24 – Milwaukee, WI @ Riverside Theatre
January 27 – Indianapolis, IN @ Murat
January 29 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Heinz Hall
January 30 – Buffalo, NY @ UB Center for the Arts
January 31 – Albany, NY @ Palace Theatre
February 2 – Providence, RI @ Veterans Memorial Auditorium
February 3 – Brooklyn, NY @ Kings Theatre
February 5 – Red Bank, NJ @ Count Basie Theatre
February 6 – Baltimore, MD @ The Modell Lyric
February 8-9 – Atlanta, GA @ Fox Theatre
February 10-11 – Durham, NC @ Durham Performing Arts Center
February 13 – Ithaca, NY @ State Theatre
February 14 – Reading, PA @ Santander Performing Arts Center
February 16 – Richmond, VA @ Altria Theater
February 17 – Charleston, WV @ Municipal Auditorium

His hits have defined rock radio since the Seventies, and he never stopped writing great music. Here’s the definitive guide to Tom Petty’s best songs. Watch here.

In This Article: Jason Isbell


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