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On April 5, 2007, Jason Isbell announced that he was no longer a member of Drive-By Truckers. The following day, Patterson Hood confirmed the break on the band's official site. In his letter to the fans, Hood described the parting of ways as "amicable" and expressed the hope that fans would continue to support Drive-By Truckers as well as Jason's solo efforts. Jason Isbell released his first solo album, Sirens of the Ditch, on July 10, 2007.
Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit's eponymous album was released on February 17, 2009, on Lightning Rod Records. Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit is Isbell's second solo release and his first release with his band The 400 Unit. Matt Pence of Centro-Matic serves as co-producer, drummer and engineer.
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit released their second album, Here We Rest, on April 12, 2011, on Lightning Rod Records. The album was produced and recorded by the band themselves.
In the Spring 2012, Isbell supported singer-songwriter Ryan Adams on the latter's acoustic European tour.
The "400 Unit" was the former colloquial name of the psychiatric ward of Florence, Alabama's Eliza Coffee Memorial Hospital, which is now named the Behavioral Health Center, or One North, and is located on the hospital's first floor.
Jason Isbell's current band, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, is primarily made up of other Alabama musicians. The lineup is currently:
• Derry DeBorja (keyboards) formerly of Son Volt.
• Jimbo Hart (bass)
• Chad Gamble (drums) brother of Al Gamble.
An eighth-generation Alabamian, Jason Isbell's family settled in the state prior to Statehood (1819). His great-great-grandmother, Mrs. William C. Isbell, was named Alabama but called Bamma. His ninth- and tenth-great-grandfathers, Zachariah Isbell Sr. and Jr., fought at the Battle of Kings Mountain in the Revolutionary War and Zachariah Sr. was one of the founders of Tennessee.
Almost all of Jason Isbell's family, except his parents, were musicians, and his father was an avid music listener. After some work as a songwriter, in 2001, Jason Isbell joined the rock band Drive-By Truckers while they toured in support of their album Southern Rock Opera. Jason Isbell recorded and wrote with the Truckers for their next three albums, and for most of this time was married to Shonna Tucker, who joined the band as a bassist after Isbell. The two later divorced.