10 Things You Didn’t Know about Jason Isbell

Jason Isbell is a man known to many. You don’t spend your life in the spotlight, making music, performing for large crowds, and winning the most prestigious awards in the music industry without making a few fans here and there. He’s one of the most talented musicians in the world, and he’s currently making headlines because he’s headlining the 2021 Railbird Festival. Now is your chance to get to know him a little more personally as we dive into his life before music and behind the scenes.

1. He’s from Alabama

Jason Isbell was born and raised in Alabama. In fact, he was born in a small town called Green Hill, Alabama, which just so happens to be located only two miles from the Tennessee state line. He was born on February 1, 1979, and he spent his entire childhood in that area.

2. His Parents Were Teenage Parents

When he was born, it was to two teenage parents. His parents ended up pregnant when they were very young, and he was born when his mother turned 17. His father was a little older when he was born. He was 19 at the time.

3. He Spent a Lot of Time With His Grandparents

Because both of his parents worked, he spent a lot of time with his grandparents growing up. They lived on a farm not too far from where Isbell went to school, so he spent a great deal of his time hanging out at the farm. He also spent a lot of time there with his uncle while his parents were at work and he waited on them to get home.

4. He Plays Many Instruments

Growing up around his grandparent’s farm so often, he was taught to play many instruments. He was taught to play the mandolin when he was only 6. Later, he learned to play instruments such as the trumpet and the French horn. He is exceptionally talented when it comes to his musical endeavors, and much of that has to do with the fact that he comes from such a musical family.

5. He Played in a Garage Band

He was around 14 when he began playing with a local garage band. His music was very serious to him, and he did enjoy the time that he got to play and hang out. He also spent a great deal of time focusing on a country music cover band, too, which he did in addition to playing for his garage band.

6. He Played the Grand Ole Opry

He was good friends growing up with one of the most famous and successful songwriters in the industry. Chris Tompkins wasn’t a famous songwriter when they were growing up together, but they worked together often. They were only 16 when they were asked to play at the Grand Ole Opry, which is potentially one of the coolest things to get to say you did in your career.

7. He Went to Rehab

One of his biggest roadblocks in life was his addiction. While he was in his 20s, he was a heavy user. He allegedly used a lot of cocaine as well as a lot of alcohol to help him get through the days, and his manager and his some other people close to him staged an intervention back in 2012 to get him the rehabilitation he needed to get clean.

8. He’s Married Twice

His first wife was part of his first band, the Drive-By Truckers. Her name is Shonna Tucker. They married in 2002. Their marriage, obviously, did not last. He married his wife, Amanda Shires, in 2013. However, that was a year after she worked with his manager to help him get into rehab. The couple welcomed their daughter, Mercy Rose, back in 2015.

9. He Enjoys Baseball

When he’s not playing music or hanging out with his family, he is definitely watching baseball during the season. He’s a huge Atlanta Braves fan, and he enjoys that time. Everyone has a favorite sport, and his happens to be the most American sport around.

10. He’s Very Open About his Life

While Jason Isbell isn’t sharing anything overly personal with anyone, he is happy to discuss his life when asked. He often reflects on his sober lifestyle and how that has affected him and impacted him, and he often shares how important his family is to him. If you ask, he will probably tell you about it, but don’t get too personal with his family. That’s something he likes to protect.

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