On "Live Oak," the standout track off Jason Isbell's career-best Southeastern, released in 2013, the narrator struggles to come to terms with the sins of his past.

On “Live Oak,” the standout track off Jason Isbell’s career-best Southeastern, released in 2013, the narrator struggles to come to terms with the sins of his past.

“There’s a man who walks beside me,” Isbell sings. “He is who I used to be.”

While the song, like many on the record, is rooted in the singer-songwriter’s decision to give up alcohol (“It was the kind of thing where I could see the bottom rather than hitting it,” he told Alive in ’13), Isbell wields his pen so skillfully that the music feels universal in spite of its personal nature.

Damien Jurado opens the show.

Photo by Michael Wilson