Holiday Wet. Jason Isbell Dry. All Good.

I reckon I'm about as wet as I've been with the week of rain in Chattanooga.  It was a week ago Sunday I dug out the Bananna Boat Sun  Amplifier (Illegal in at least 25 nanny states…SPF ZERO!) Since, well it's been damp.  Only times I can recall I was more wet were:  Derby 1983 (My infield mates got into the juleps early…by 10 am they were napping and I was standing guard over the blanket…then just before the 8th race…it poured 3 inches +….our party got separated and there was a 6 mile walk. Not fun)  Bonnaroo 2004 (2 seperate floods of Biblical proportions …or was that 3?  Lost my left sandal…stuck in the mud somewhere.  Not fun)  Derby 2008 (Oaks Day aka "Kentucky Soaks".   Great seats….My clothes had mushrooms sprouting and mold when I got home)

So when we postponed the annual 4th of July Party in Jefferson Hts until Saturday…well, it was a day when everybody was soaked to the skin and beyond.  Took 3 showers…..and that was indoors.   So when I heard someone who's old enough to know better complain that "They cancelled fireworks…now I won't get to see any…."  Well, all together now… " Wah Wah Call the Wambulance!"

The best part of the holiday was Jason Isbell @ Track 29.  Jason was a front man for Drive By Truckers, the brilliant Muscle Shoals band that transformed music in the late '90's and 2000's.    Jason was and is a wonderful songwriter…..then and now.   Jason is a recovering alcoholic.   Jason used to knock down a fifth of Jack Daniels a day.  A day.  While writing, performing, living life.   And, as former band mate Patterson Hood told the New York Times last month… "Some folks get drunk and are funny or sweet……Jason was not."    But Jason met a woman.   And the 2nd time he drunkenly threatened to go to rehab……she called him on it…and off to Cumberland Heights in Nashville he went.   My Dad was a Muscle Shoals alcoholic, too.   An alumus of Cumberland Hts.  (His 1st time did not "take"…as he told me…"you have to do it yourself..and I didn't really want to."    I asked my Dad…and others…. "Why don't you just…..don't drink to excess…to the point you get hammered and make everybody's life a living hell?"   His response…and that of others…. "If only it were that easy….You don't get it.  An alcoholic can't be a social drinker."    My Dad was sober the last 8 years of his life.  And, Jason has been sober the last couple years of his life.

Jason Isbell is again a rising star.  Proof that some folks can consume alcohol responsibly….and that some cannot.   He does not drink.  And I hope he never does.  For all those who are struggling…trying to "get better"…..I hope and pray they all find the strength to go those tough 12 steps.   That they find the courage to change what they can….to accept what they cannot change….and learn the difference.   

Jason Isbell seemed honestly humble….appropriately grateful that he's been given and is giving himself a New Lease on Life.   A sober life.    This Son of Muscle Shoals is awed by you….and pulling for you.






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Brian Joyce Unfiltered

Brian Joyce Unfiltered

Tune in to Chattanooga’s most outspoken talk host and business owner, Brian Joyce, as he addresses the hottest local and national issues on “Unfiltered” with Brian Joyce. With a career spanning two decades, Brian has built a reputation as the only talk host and small business owner in Chattanooga willing to take on the powers-that-be, take…