First, a little about my RSD experience. I knew this album was a must-have for me, and I contacted my local store (Record Den in the Greater Cleveland area) and confirmed their opening time and how many they would have of this release. They accommodated, I found out they should have about seven copies. They were opening at 9:00, so I arrived at about 7:15 and found about 40 people in line ahead of me. I began praying they didn’t all want the same thing as me.
So, onto the album: it’s six songs, three on each side, including John Prine’s “Storm Windows,” The Rolling Stones’ “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” and “Sway,” Springsteen’s “Atlantic City,” a re-recording of “Heart on a String” which Isbell and his band the 400 Unit previously covered on Here We Rest and finally, a re-recording of Isbell’s DBT classic “Never Gonna Change.”
The analog recording is great, and the studio live recording is perfect. Jason and his band do great justice to these covers of some classic rock and country songs. “Atlantic City” is a particular highlight as my favorite Springsteen song with Isbell doing great justice to the song, retaining the spirit of the original while making the song truly his own.
“Never Gonna Change” is another highlight. This is a DBT song that grew on me after several listens and now has become a favorite of mine. Those familiar with this song know that it is a lengthier song, made even lengthier here with an extended musical interlude, showcasing his and his band’s musical talents. This is also true with “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” which reaches a seven-minute runtime. “Never Gonna Change” reaches eight minutes.
This is an album that is great to have and to listen to. Its limited run is going to make it something Isbell’s fans are always going to be happy to have acquired. Even if it ever is released in a digital format (highly doubtful, at this point), the original run vinyl presses are going to be a Holy Grail type item for his fans.