Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit honored hometown heroes R.E.M. with a cover of “Driver 8” when the band played Athens, GA last month. The cover, taken from the alternative rock band’s 1985 album Fables of the Reconstruction, is set to appear on Isbell’s forthcoming Georgia Blue album.

Recorded live on September 12th at Terrapin Beer Company in Athens, the rendition gets a full-bodied telling thanks to keyboardist Derry deBorja‘s use of accordion. The song about the slow demise of the Southern Crescent passenger train is the kind of bittersweet reflection of the American heartland that fits perfectly into Isbell’s catalog.

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A studio recording of “Driver 8” will appear on Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit’s Georgia Blue, set to arrive on streaming services on Friday. The cover album of all Georgia artists has been in the works since President Joe Biden turned the Peach State blue during the 2020 election. On Twitter, Isbell promised to record a Georgia tribute album should the state vote Democrat, which it ultimately did. Georgia Blue features Isbell and The Unit covering such Georgia greats as The Allman Brothers BandJames Brown, Otis ReddingVic ChesnuttIndigo GirlsThe Black Crowes, and more. The album also hosts guest contributions from Bèla FleckChris ThileBrandi CarlileJulien Baker, and many more.

Watch Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit cover R.E.M.’s “Driver 8” in Athens, GA below and click here to pre-order Georgia Blue.

Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit — “Driver 8” (R.E.M.) — Athens, GA — 9/12/21