So I’m sure you’ve heard by now that the Zac Brown Band went ahead and performed “Dress Blues” on ESPN last night. For some country music purists, this was sacrilege. Many of Isbell’s fans took to Twitter bashing Zac for touching a song of such depth.
@JasonIsbell ugh, if it’s good for business we’re glad for ya, but man, that should be YOU with a couple million viewers, no Zack Bro (wn)
— superhuge (@superhuge) January 13, 2015
@JasonIsbell Just because fans of real country music despise Zac Brown doesn’t mean they don’t respect YOU. He is just AWFUL.
— Matty (@MatfromBham) January 13, 2015
Zac Brown’s rendition of “Dress Blues” is no where near as good as @JasonIsbell doing it. — Scott Smith (@kenssmith) January 13, 2015
Recently, I reviewed the ZBB single “Homegrown,” and while it was melodically complex and sounded great, it was clearly one of the band’s made-for-radio cuts. “Dress Blues” would be a fantastic song for the ZBB catalogue and could possibly bring something emotional to the radio as well. Isbell’s fans had failed to see what a huge opportunity this could be for the songwriter and country music in general. Luckily, Isbell, a great musician with an equally great Twitter personality, did see it.
If you want more popular country artists to sing songs that have some real meaning, don’t be pissed at the ones who do.
— Jason Isbell (@JasonIsbell) January 12, 2015
He is so right. Zac and friends deserve credit for picking this song over a girls and drinking song that probably could have made them more money. Heck, they’ve always deserved more credit than that. They’ve always been down-home but they’ve rarely done anything ‘bro-ish.’ My take on the whole situation is best explained by this tweet:
@JasonIsbell this is cool but still prefer your voice and @amandashires on violin. If it’s going to be covered, ZBB is a good one to do it.
— Shelley Koostra (@shelleyk2318) January 13, 2015
Thank you, Shelley, for adding the same measured thought and complexity to your tweet that you demand in your songwriting.
Singles Tuesday will come later in the day. I thought this needed to be said sooner.