Jason Isbell, Amanda Shires, and Peter Levin returned for yet another installment of I So Lounging on Friday, this time opting to remain entirely within their own songbooks.
Since returning in weekly installments last month, the I So Lounging crew has taken up various themed performances, as well as welcomed special guest Brad Whitford (Aerosmith). In past weeks, the husband-wife duo joined by Levin on piano have played songs about the weather, songs named after women, traded covers of each other, and more.
The sixth installment of I So Lounging opened with Isbell and Levin jamming on Traffic‘s “Dear Mr. Fantasy”, with Shires entering the fold toward the end of the instrumental exploration. The trio then brought up Shires’ stepfather Joe Sweeten for an impromptu interview that quickly devolved into a discussion of watermelon, before Shires took the first song with her original “Leave It Alone”. With all of the covers and themed sets the I So Lounging team has been doing since their return, its nice to see Shires sing a song of her own.
After “Leave It Alone”, the crew got into a fascinating conversation about Jason’s socks, which then led into an intimate detailing of how they designed their daughter’s room. Somewhere along the line, the discussion turns to the Republican National Convention‘s unauthorized use of Leonard Cohen‘s “Hallelujah”, whereafter Isbell lead the group into one of his “sad-ass songs” with “Overseas” from 2020’s Reunions. It was easy throughout the past several weeks of I So Lounging sessions with themes and a special guest to briefly forget that Shires and Isbell are themselves incredible songwriters. This week’s episode served as a stern reminder of that fact. Shires remarked afterwards that the performance “was so f*cking good my shoe came untied.”
More stimulating discussions follow as Isbell talked about the infamous “poop door” at The Tractor Tavern in Seattle, WA where people would substitute the word “poop” into the name of a band. For example the Poo Fighters, Jason Isbell and the 400 Poops, and so on. The conversation did ultimately turn serious as Isbell and Shires mourn the loss of their colleague Justin Townes Earle who died this week. After a plug to the Suicide Prevention Lifeline, who are able to provide assistance to people struggling with a variety of issues, Shires brought the session to a close with her own “Parking Lot Pirouette”. While the song may not have closed I So Lounging episode six on the happiest of notes, it felt like a touching tribute to Earle.
Watch the sixth episode of I So Lounging below.
Jason Isbell, Amanda Shires, Peter Levin – I So Lounging Episode 6
[Video: Amanda Shires]