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Album Review | ROCK

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, ‘Live from Alabama’

Jason Isbell’s way with words — taking up home, family, the South, life at the margins of love or means — was proven during his time with Southern rockers Drive-By Truckers, and it’s only gotten stronger over the course of three solo records. His Trucker and post-Trucker material are equally represented on this new live offering. Observers have noted that Isbell has moved toward a quieter, country-infused sound on his own; but he and his band know how to get loud. “Live From Alabama” captures both sides of the equation, and on songs such as “Goddamn Lonely Love,” “Danko/Manuel,” and a rock ’n’ soul cover of Candi Staton’s “Heart on a String,” the horn section that Isbell brought along for these performances adds an extra measure of intensity. So, too, does the fact that he recorded the shows in his Alabama homeland. The results might qualify “Live From Alabama” as something more than a way station between Isbell’s last studio record and his next one. (Out now)

ESSENTIAL “Cigarettes and Wine”

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit play the Sinclair on Dec. 6.

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