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Jason Isbell Opens Up About His Sobriety, Childhood and Music In New HBO Documentary

Jason Isbell Opens Up About His Sobriety, Childhood and Music In New HBO Documentary

Jason Isbell has been sober for a decade, but the pandemic lockdowns and pressure of creating new music have been testing him lately. In the upcoming HBO Original documentary, Jason Isbell: Running With Our Eyes Closed, the Grammy-winning artist opens up about his struggles, both in the studio and outside of it.

The documentary, directed by Sam Jones, follows Isbell as he records his 2020 album Reunions with his band, The 400 Unit. Isbell reflects on the creative process, revealing that once a song is written, the focus shifts from creating to re-creating.

The trailer for the documentary shows Isbell talking about the challenges of sobriety, especially during difficult times.

“When I have a hard day, I can’t just go home and have a drink,” he said. “There’s no escape for me.”

The documentary also delves into his past, exploring his childhood in rural Alabama and his time with the Drive-By Truckers. It also explores the collaborative dynamic Isbell has with his wife and frequent collaborator, Amanda Shires.

“Most people don’t go to work with their wife,” he jokes in the trailer.

Running is the latest installment of the Bill Simmons-created Music Box series, which focuses on pivotal moments in music. HBO Documentary Films made it in association with Ringer Films, Duplass Brothers Productions and Beware Doll / GraySky. The documentary’s release comes as Isbell and The 400 Unit prepare to release their latest album, Weathervanes, on June 9.

Jason Isbell: Running With Our Eyes Closed debuts on HBO and HBO Max on April 7.

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