Most things are working out for Isbell since he gave up drinking in February 2012, then married Shires and recorded Southeastern with producer Dave Cobb two years ago. All those are "improvements on my life," said the recovering alcoholic who had a long-term relationship with Jack Daniel's.
Elle King grew up in southern Ohio but was made for Gulf Shores -- and the Hangout festival. The singer-songwriter whose full-length album debut Love Stuff was released last year, now lives in New York, likes to party, frolic in the ocean and speak without a net.
While the woman with the golden pipes who plays acoustic and electric guitars is versatile enough to handle ballads and blasters in folk, country and rock, she's a throwback to musicians who also knew how to turn a phrase.
A band built on longevity, sheer stamina, homespun lyrics and double-barreled guitar blasts is a testament to their willpower. Drive-By Truckers get a lot of mileage out of their act, but how far can they go before running out of gas?
It's not just the thought that counts; it's the overview of how each year we repeat the journey home. And on the return -- our jeans a little tighter, the déjà vu unpleasantries of travel; all a mere blip, as in the end we still do anything to come home to our loved ones.
This week, the Big Music Machine springs forward with some lively releases to celebrate the coming end of winter. The best sounds of the season are loud, warm and travel to the outer regions of musical exploration.