Jason Isbell named honorary Texan at sold-out ACL Live show

The Alabama-born America artist and songwriter Jason Isbell is now an honorary Texan after being presented with a proclamation signed by Governor Greg Abbott at ACL Live Sunday night.

Review of Friday night’s show: Jason Isbell is at the top of his game and still climbing

Isbell was in town with his wife, Amanda Shires, and the rest of his band, The 400 Unit, for a weekend of three sold-out shows at ACL Live.

The proclamation was presented to Isbell by fiddle player and Director of the Texas Music Office Brendon Anthony in the middle of Shires’ opening set. Shires (a born-and-bred Texan herself, growing up in Mineral Wells and Lubbock) led up to the surprise by inviting Isbell on stage to sing “Wasted and Rollin’,” a song she said she wrote while on the road to move to Nashville with Isbell years ago.

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Anthony then joined the couple on stage to present Isbell with his new honorary Texan status.

Director of the Texas Music Office Brendon Anthony presents Jason Isbell (left) with his honorary Texan status Sunday, July 16 at ACL Live as Isbell's wife and bandmate, Amanda Shires (right) watches. (Jake Harris)

The proclamation reads: 

“To all whom these presents shall come. Greetings: Know ye that Jason Isbell is hereby commissioned an Honorary Texan under the laws of the State of Texas, and emoluments appertaining to said office. In testimony whereof, I have signed my name, and caused the Seal of the State of Texas to be affixed at the City of Austin, this, the 9th Day of June, 2017.

–Greg Abbott”

Isbell remarked later in his set that he was honored to be a part of the Texan family, and joked that now he would have something good to tell Shires’ grandmother when they visit her later in the week: “Now I’ll have done something that she can be proud of,” he joked.

Isbell, Shires and the rest of the 400 Unit will be in Houston Tuesday at the Revention Music Center, and then will continue their “The Nashville Sound” tour in various parts of the Southeast, including Mississippi, Florida and South Carolina.


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