We met Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires three years ago to hear about their love story. They met when Jason was still struggling with sobriety, and got married about a year before we first sat down. Since then, they've continued to create new music, moved into a new house together, and had their first child—Mercy. After our recent episode on breakups, we couldn't think of a better duo to take your questions about heartache, relationships, creativity and loss.
A caller named Rebecca in Alaska wants to know how the two strike a balance between their creativity and their love for each other. "Happiness is the most important thing," Amanda says. "You've got to make yourself happy first, and be the truest self you can, before you can even try and be happy in a relationship." Russ calls in from Adairsville, Georgia to ask Jason and Amanda if they share their works in progress—especially if they write about each other. "If it's true and honest—no rules," Amanda says. "If the piece of art is good enough, no one can argue with it," Jason adds.
We also hear from Lori in Ukiah, California, who lost her husband to cancer. She wants to know about Jason's relationship to his faith these days. "For me, it's about not needing too many answers," he responds, adding he still relies on his faith in God for support. Muhammad from Boston shares his struggle to stay authentic as a Middle Eastern musician playing Americana music. "Americana is America," Amanda says. "Play your folk songs. It's going to kick ass."
Let us know what you think of our live-call in format! If you enjoyed it, tell us what you'd like our next call-in to be about and who should be our guests by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason & Amanda's Playlist
Leonard Cohen, (ANY Leonard Cohen song, Amanda says)
Ray LaMontagne, "Lesson Learned"
Willie Nelson, "You Are Always On My Mind"
Willie Nelson, "Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground"
Willie Nelson, "Remember Me"
Willie Nelson, "On the Road Again"
Jason Isbell, "Flagship"
Amanda Shires, "You Are My Home"