The latest episode of Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires‘ I So Lounging saw the husband and wife duo taking aim at Van Morrison before covering “Into The Mystic”.
In recent weeks the crotchety Northern Irish singer has taken aim at the United Kingdom’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. He then went on to announce a series of three anti-lockdown protest songs set to debut on streaming platforms later this week and into October.
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The seventh episode of I So Lounging opens mid-conversation as Isbell and faithful compatriot Peter Levin are discussing the late guitarist Reggie Young, who played with country legends including Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard, and many more. This installment of I So Lounging came after several weeks off, as inclement weather at Isbell and Shires’ Nashville home threatened streaming quality.
After some of the ritual chitchat that eats up most of I So Lounging, the trio sang “Happy Birthday To You” to Shires’ mother/cameraperson. With that, the session began in earnest with a run through the Amanda Shires tune “Eve’s Daughter”, from her 2018 album To The Sunset. Prior to the stream, Shires printed out to the lyrics to her own song off of Google only to find that they were horribly wrong, which lead to some humorous confusion as she was forced to decipher the words to a song she wrote.
Next came the highlight of the program as Isbell took direct aim at Van The Man before covering one of his most popular tunes.
“There was a time in the past when our dear Van Morrison had such beautiful music, such beautiful songs, that everyone paid attention to him,” Isbell said. “Now that that time has passed, I fear that our dear Van Morrison is still desirous of the attention that he once received. So now he likes to say things like, ‘The government asking you to not give everyone the Covid-19 virus is akin to slavery.’ I disagree with that statement very much.”
“I’m gonna do this song in remembrance of when Van was merely not nice and wasn’t public about his denial of science,” he added, before donning a ski mask. “I don’t know that this’ll protect me from the virus, but I’d like for it to protect me from Van.”
Despite any hard feelings toward and criticism of Morrison, Isbell knocks the “Into The Mystic” cover out of the park with his tender rendition of the iconic vocals. Shires’ subtle fiddle in the background, paired with light keyboard work from Levin, create a delicate soundscape that paradoxically came from such a rough personality.
Following the Van Morrison tribute/takedown, the session continued on with a take on Shires’ ode to motherhood “Charms”. The Shires-centric session then closed out with one last tune from the songwriter in “Pale Fire” from her 2016 album My Piece of Land.
Watch the newest installment of I So Lounging from Jason Isbell, Amanda Shires, and Peter Levin, where they take aim at Van Morrison.
Jason Isbell, Amanda Shires, Peter Levin – I So Lounging Episode 7
[Video: Amanda Shires]