Jason Isbell

Jason Isbell released Here We Rest more than a year ago, and has since seen an exponential rise in his profile. It’s not his first effort since leaving Drive-By Truckers, but it was more introspective than his earlier works, and it’s made an impression – namely with the Americana Music Association, which gave him song of the year for “Alabama Pines.”

“Jason has seen a lot of growth over the last year,” his agent, Andrew Colvin, told Pollstar. “I’ve worked with Jason for probably eight years and I’ve seen more growth over the last year than I have ever before.”

Photo: Americana Honors & Awards / Erika Goldring

Colvin said Isbell’s exposure was also raised by touring with Ryan Adams. And then there’s his tweets.  Isbell has gathered an independent following because of his Twitter account, which he uses to promote music in general, and lots of other stuff too.

“It’s funny because a lot of bands use Twitter just as a promotional tool to tell their fans what they’re up to,” Colvin said. “Jason’s is way more than that. Jason uses that medium to express his interests, his opinions. And I think people get to know his personality. He’s a really funny guy.”

Isbell and his band, The 400 Unit, are expected to release a live album soon. And the next year includes a solo, acoustic-based album and solo tour, with some shows with The 400 Unit.

Photo: Americana Honors & Awards / Erika Goldring

Colvin attributed some of Isbell’s success to years of building goodwill.

“I think there’s a karma factor going on. Jason is such a good guy, and he’s made so many friends through the years,” he said. “You like to see the people who are kind and treat people with respect to do well.  I just spoke at a business class at the University of Georgia and a lot of the students were in bands. I told them to treat everyone as good as you possibly can. Treat everyone with respect and kindness. I think it comes back around.”