He is known for his solo career, his work with the band The Unit , and as a former member of Drive-By Truckers for six years, from to Isbell grew up in rural North Alabama. His grandparents lived on a farm down the road, next to the school that Isbell attended; they looked after him while his parents were at work. His grandfather and uncle taught him to play various musical instruments,  including the mandolin when he was 6 years old as it was easier for him to grip as a small child.
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If you want to know how to cure a hangover, ask a musician, especially one who has recently been in rehab. He was standing outside a recording studio in suburban Nashville, lighting a cigarette. On this early afternoon in February, those eyes were puffy and red-rimmed.
A while back, Jason Isbell was in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, getting ready to receive the key to the city. In he'd had the mixed fortune of being born just across the river, in Green Hill, and he grew up in the area, sitting in with the town's legendary session musicians in the restaurants that were the only places that served alcohol in an otherwise dry county. Not so good when you're 19 or We were in a restaurant in Nashville, not far from where Isbell now lives, as he told this story, and at the table he acted out what happened next. The mayor of Muscle Shoals approached with the key. And he nervously laughed. He's a sweet dude. But you know, I've been to jail in that city a few times. By now, Isbell's been telling outlaw stories for nearly as long as he was an outlaw. On his right arm, he has tattooed seven notches, for seven years of sobriety; he marked his eighth in February.
The year-old musician is known as one of the best songwriters in the country. And that just may have been the problem. By David Peisner. As it happened, there was no nice bottle procured, and no jitters for another swallow. Back when he was drinking, he recorded three albums with the southern rock progressives the Drive-By Truckers, and three solo albums of alternately tender and raucous country-inflected rock. But the long shadow of his addictions has continued to haunt his music since.