They are calling it the Tornado Alley Tour 2007 and this was a billing that has smart written all over it. Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit kicked the room into overdrive from the first chorus. For the past six years, Jason was one of three frontmen for the Drive-By Truckers, and although fans may have been shocked by his leaving the band in April, when you fill your ears with his solo debut Sirens Of The Ditch it will only reassure you that his music has its own unique voice. His songs are written with intelligence that starts in the heart and for the set here in Madison, his group had all the intentions of making sure we knew that. Featuring many songs of the new album, there was a taste of Psycho Killer and Into the Mystic, just to keep us in check. I will see this band again and am ready for it. Then came Cracker. Now I will admit that I have not surrounded myself with a lot of their music over the years, but damn what a great live act. This band is a rock and roll wall, solid from the floor up and man, the songs I didn’t know were even better than those I recall. There is humor, endearment and most of all a satirical smartness about the songs, phrases that jump out at you and stick there for a while where many artists don’t get to take you. If your plate is ever with an empty section on it, fill it up with some CRACKER and see what sticks. The host of this event, the High Noon Saloon was a perfect venue to showcase true musicianship with artists that ooze of their appreciation for the audience and their songs. Where else but at a place that offers live event 7, that’s right, seven nights a week. So if you can, go there and support live music.
Jason Isbell with Cracker
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