James McMurtry

Wasteland Bait & Tackle: Isbell

Columns Wasteland Bait & Tackle

Jason Isbell is moving mountains. He has managed to get a major venue in Austin, Texas to require patrons to provide proof of vaccination for COVID and the wearing of masks for entry to his performances. I can’t get that from two hundred seat clubs across the Southwest, not yet anyway. I have a feeling Jason’s way will become the norm. There’s no other way to avoid a second shutdown which would kill the clubs that survived the last shutdown. I’ve toured with Jason, early on as a co-headliner, later as an opening act. Opening for Jason is the best gig you can get. You only have to play forty five minutes for good money an then you can bail if you want to. His crew treats you like human beings and they bust ass to make the whole night work. Last time, Jason’s band had in ear monitors, but his crew hauled a monitor rig with wedges just for us, because doing so made everybody’s life easier. No attitude, no bullshit, total pro. I’ve watched Jason from the wings through several eras of both our careers and I don’t want to try and follow him anymore, he and his guys are just too good.

Jason has made a PR mistake, in my opinion. He shouldn’t have engaged the “fool” who is trying to out blue collar him. Never engage the fool. Actually, this “fool” is not a fool, but a very strategically minded asshole. The “fool” puts forth the notion that Jason is “Elitist” for trying to safeguard the health of his fans and stopping the spread of the virus. The fool says fans might have a reaction to the vaccine that might put them out of work and requiring proof of vaccination is an economic burden to the fans. Seems to me, a fatal case of covid could put you out of work too.

But Jason should have ignored the fool, because I wouldn’t know the fool’s name, had Jason not slapped back and gave the press an “artist feud” story. If I ever heard the fool’s name in the past, I long ago forgot it because he’s washed up and forgotten for the most part. The fool hasn’t done dick in decades. Jason Isbell is doing stuff now. Don’t feed the fool Jason.

Find James McMurtry information here: http://www.jamesmcmurtry.com See previous column entries here: Wasteland Bait & Tackle

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