Jason Isbell, David Crosby Surprise With ‘Ohio’ at 2018 Newport Folk Festival [WATCH]
Jason Isbell surprised fans at this year's Newport Folk Festival with a couple of duets with David Crosby and a call for a change. As first reported by Billboard, the pair performed two classic tracks -- Crosby, Stills & Nash's own "Wooden Ships" and Neil Young's iconic protest song "Ohio" -- and made it clear that the performances carried a message they wanted fans to hear loud and clear.
After playing "Wooden Ships," but before launching into "Ohio," Isbell addressed the crowd, expressing the power of music to enact change, and how Crosby and his contemporaries used their music to that effect during the era of protest songs in the '60s and '70s. "The songwriters, the guitar players and bass players and banjo players and singers -- they're all connected to the people that they were when they were trying to make things change," he went on to say. "We need to get together and try to make things change."
"Ohio" was originally penned as a response to the 1970 Kent State Shootings. During their surprise duet, Crosby and Isbell invited the crowd to join them sing the chorus. Together the men and the crowd sing, "Gotta get down to it / Soldiers are cutting us down / Should have been done long ago / What if you knew her / And found her dead on the ground / How can you run when you know?" Press play above to watch a fan-captured video of the performance.
Recently Isbell and his band the 400 Unit have announced a new live album release. The project will be set in none other than the Mother Church of Country Music, the Ryman Auditorium, where the band will play shows this fall. Live From the Ryman is scheduled to be released this fall, on Oct. 19.
More information about Isbell and the 400 Unit, including their six recently announced Ryman tour stops, is available on Isbell's official website.
Country's Most Political Artists
Country Music's Best Protest Songs