Country music is a broad category. It is an umbrella that can cover everything from southern pop to traditional cowboy ballads, Sam Hunt to Texas swing-comedy group Riders In The Sky. But one singer whom we have no problem thinking of as a country artist, despite the overwhelming diversity living under the banner of “country music”, doesn’t think he fits into that category anymore or if he ever did. Jason Isbell, quite frankly, doesn’t know what kind of musician he is.
Isbell is currently touring through Europe with his band The 400 Unit. He was stopped in Norway by a woman wondering what kind of musician he was. Isbell, didn’t have an answer. He recounted his conversation on Twitter.
This is not necessarily a knock on the country music establishment, even though he has a well documented past of criticizing mainstream country music. Expecting the best, we can only assume this means Isbell makes music true to himself and his time rather than true to a genre.