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Jason Isbell & Amanda Shires Are 2023 Record Store Day Ambassadors

1 February 2023 | 10:17 am | Mary Varvaris

"In your local record store, you find common ground and the excitement of discovery."

(Jason Isbell: Supplied, Amanda Shires via Facebook)

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Husband and wife country and folk music legends, Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires, have been named Record Store Day's official 2023 ambassadors; they are the first couple to receive the honour.

In a statement, the couple shared their happiness of being named official ambassadors and added, "Record stores are gathering places. They’re rooms full of carefully curated art and entertainment where you can find a friend, take a date, start a band. 

"We all need these gathering places now more than ever. In your local record store, you find common ground and the excitement of discovery. A great new album can make a grumpy old man (like Jason) feel like a kid again. We’ve both worked in record stores, played our songs there, built our careers there. Record stores make it possible for recording artists to find their audience and their voice, and we couldn’t be more excited to help make 2023 the biggest and best Record Store Day yet."

In a video, Shires revealed her personal history with her local record store. "I fell in love with Leonard Cohen at Ralph’s Records in Lubbock, TX. I found Big Star at Offbeat in Jackson, MS. The people that work in these stores and the community of people that support record stores are passionate and care deeply for music and the place that it holds and occupies in our lives."

She continued, "Record stores are environments where you can be yourself, like what you like and love what you love. I’m proud to be a Record Store Day Ambassador this year and always. Go meet someone at a record store; discover music personally. They’re all out there waiting for ya! Tell them Ol’ Monster Shires sent ya!"

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Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit will perform at Bluesfest this April, as well as two exclusive sideshows in Melbourne and Sydney. 

Isbell broke through with the release of his 2013 album, Southeastern. His following two albums, Something More Than Free (2015) and The Nashville Sound (2017), won him Grammy Awards for ‘Best Americana Album’ and ‘Best American Roots Song’ – and his song Maybe It's Time was featured in the 2019's A Star Is Born.

His most recent full-length album, Reunions (2020), is a critically acclaimed collection of ten new songs that showcases an artist at the height of his powers and a band fully charged with creativity and confidence.

In October 2021, Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit released a critically acclaimed covers album, Georgia Blue, celebrating the state of Georgia’s role in the 2020 election. The record consists of new versions of thirteen songs with ties to the state, with all proceeds benefiting three non-profit organizations: Black Voters Matter, Fair Fight and Georgia STAND-UP.