THE GREATEST OF ALL TUNES (G.O.A.T.) is a salute to the greatest songs of all time, one song per artist. Want more? Go to the G.O.A.T. Page for all the GOATs so far!
When the Drive-By Truckers came out in 2001, I was a huge fan and I never expected that a sideman would end up being the greatest thing the band ever produced. Native Alabaman Jason Isbell quit the band in 2007 and came out with a solo album that, frankly, blew everyone away. It was as if Keith Richards had walked away from The Rolling Stones and produced a record as good as Exile on Main Street.
“Coedine” came off his second album with the band “The 400 Unit,” and it is an absolutely perfect, heartbreaking song that starts with bitterness towards amateur musicians who “fake their way through Castles Made of Sand” and moves immediately into a woman who he’s gotten into a fight with who has taken up with the singer’s friend. “One of my friends has taken her in and given her codeine,” Isbell laments, crying that even though she wasn’t a perfect woman, being with her was better than “having to cook and trying to date.”
It’s a brilliant, moving, and powerful song.
Further listening: Anything Isbell does is gold, and there are at least a dozen other songs I could have listed as GOATs.
Covers: Surprisingly, quite a few. And some are pretty good.