Jason Isbell: “As I get older, I tend to play fewer notes to try and make my point“

(Image credit: Future / Joby Sessions)

Asked to describe his approach to guitar playing, alt-country rocker Jason Isbell – never at a loss for an interesting and unique viewpoint – sums it up thusly. 

“To me, there are two fundamental types of creative people,“ he says. “There are people who paint; they start out with a blank canvas to which they add things. Then there are sculptors; they start out with a block of stone and they chip away at it. They reduce as they go. 

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Joe Bosso

Joe is a freelance journalist who has, over the past few decades, interviewed hundreds of guitarists for Guitar World, Guitar Player, MusicRadar and Classic Rock. He is also a former editor of Guitar World, contributing writer for Guitar Aficionado and VP of A&R for Island Records. He’s an enthusiastic guitarist, but he’s nowhere near the likes of the people he interviews. Surprisingly, his skills are more suited to the drums. If you need a drummer for your Beatles tribute band, look him up.