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Standout Saturday shows: Van Halen tribute band, Jason Isbell

Jason Isbell has a warning for anyone planning to enjoy adult beverages at his Saturday show in Auburn.

“It’s not a good idea to get on the Internet when you’re drunk,” he said in a recent phone interview.

It’s concise life advice from the musician, a frequent Twitter user who warns, “I don’t do Facebook.”

Isbell is a former member of alternative rock act Drive-By Truckers. He’ll perform Saturday at Bourbon Street Bar with his band, the 400 Unit. Isbell hails from northern Alabama, and his music crosses rock, folk and country genres.

He doesn’t mind when it’s succinctly summarized as Southern rock, though. “I have a lot of other things to be bothered by,” he said.

Like “American Idol.”

“I really just try to pretend it doesn’t exist,” Isbell said of the Fox series.

He is, however, much more open to discussing the existence of his fans. He doesn’t take issue with people who follow his new material as an extension of Drive-By Truckers fandom.

“I don’t really mind how people hear about it,” Isbell said of his music.

Fortunately, fans have many ways to get hooked on Isbell’s stuff -- YouTube clips, profiles and, of course, his tweets.

Among his recent Twitter musings? “There’s real, honest talent in this world and it still comes from the weirdos. Always will.”

Esquire named Isbell’s “Tour of Duty” among its 50 Songs Every Man Should Listen To. The song tells the story of a soldier returning home from war.

“I promise not to bore you with my stories, I promise not to scare you with my tears, I never would exaggerate the glory, I’ll seem so satisfied here,” the song’s lyrics state.

Isbell said fans at Saturday’s 19-and-older show will hear material he recorded with the 400 Unit, as well as some cover songs and tunes from his Drive-By Truckers days.

Another Saturday option

Looking for a Columbus show on Saturday night? Ready, set, “Jump.”

That was my poor attempt to fill your brain with some Van Halen prior to Saturday’s tribute show at Illusions. The featured act, Van Halen On Fire, is billed as “the No. 1 Van Halen tribute band on the East Coast.”

Excited? Join the club. Whenever I hear “Right Now,” I enter a simpler time -- you know, when we naively believed Crystal Pepsi would be around forever.

Sonya Sorich, reporter, can be reached at or 706-571-8516.