Jason Isbell told Uncut magazine about this defiant and intimate witnessing of a loved one dying of cancer, whose inspiration dates back to before he met his wife, songwriter/fiddler Amanda Shires: "I was living above this bar in Sheffield, Alabama, for a long time before I moved to Nashville with Amanda and I was dating this girl that worked at the bar," he recalled. "I told her she couldn't get too attached to the people sitting around the bar because they're all gonna disappear, and sure enough – within a couple of years, half the regulars were gone. It's hard for me to get through it some nights. It's a sad song."
According to Patterson Hood of Drive-By Truckers, a group that Isbell departed in 2007, this is the "best song of 2013."
Who writes a song about a name they found in a phone book? That's just one of the everyday things these guys find to sing about. Anything in their field of vision or general scope of knowledge is fair game. If you cross paths with them, so are you.
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