Shires & Isbell Named Record Store Day Ambassadors

Since the first RSD Ambassador sash was bestowed in 2009, there have been years when more than one person has taken up the title and sung the glories of the record store–Pearl Jam (2019), Metallica (2016) and Run The Jewels (2018)--but never before has it been two people who have conquered one of the most daunting tasks we know of: combining a record collection!  

Today Record Store Day is thrilled to announce that the 2023 Record Store Day Ambassadors are husband and wife record store lovers Amanda Shires and Jason Isbell!

“It’s so wonderful to be able to formally celebrate what Amanda and Jason mean for us here at Record Store Day with the title of Record Store Day Ambassador”, says Record Store Day co-founder Carrie Colliton. “Even through their social media feeds, it’s such a delight to get to know them, they are both such genuine fans of each other, all genres of music, the album as an art form and most importantly for our purposes, the brick and mortar record store. And I do like that we’re celebrating in a small sense the way music brings people together in such an obvious, romantic way with this… they’re the “First Couple” of record stores, as far as I’m concerned!”

“We’re so happy to be your Record Store Day Ambassadors for 2023,” says Jason in a video shared on the Record Store Day website. “We think record stores are so important, not only for the musicians who play in them, like Amanda did so many times this year and I have in the past, but also to the communities and to people who love art.”

Alongside several titles on past Record Store Day release lists, both musicians make sure that the planning for both their many solo albums and those of their bands (Jason’s The 400 Unit) and supergroups (Amanda’s The Highwomen, with fellow RSD Ambassador Brandi Carlile!) places not only physical formats front and center, but record stores as well, with special vinyl variants and/or early release dates for stores. It only makes sense that together they have a title on the list of releases made to celebrate Record Store Day 2023, and The Sound Emporium EP is that title. The exclusive EP, which contains new songs from both Jason (“Hired Gun”) and Amanda (“Old Habits”), a Richard Thompson cover, and a reimagined track from the Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit album Here We Rest, comes to participating indie record stores on April 22. 

“Over the years I’ve fallen in love many times and many of my greatest loves have been discovered in record stores,” Amanda says. I fell in love with Leonard Cohen at Ralph’s Records in Lubbock, TX. I found Big Star at Offbeat in Jackson, MS. The people that work in these stores and the community of people that support record stores are passionate and care deeply for music and the place that it holds and occupies in our lives. Record stores are environments where you can be yourself, like what you like and love what you love. I’m proud to be a Record Store Day Ambassador this year and always. Go meet someone at a record store; discover music personally. They’re all out there waiting for ya! Tell them Ol’ Monster Shires sent ya (they probably won’t know what that means though).”

More exciting announcements about Record Store Day 2023 to come! Watch the video from the Record Store Day 2023 Ambassadors, find participating record stores and get more information about this year’s party at recordstoreday.com

A truly singular creative force, GRAMMY award-winning singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Amanda Shires is in the midst of an extraordinary career.  Amanda’s latest album Take It Like A Man received wide critical acclaim and landed on many “Best Albums of 2022” lists including NPR, Stereogum, BrooklynVegan and The New York Times, who noted Amanda is, "a fearless woman gathering all her strength and belting out her truths with a poet’s diction and a bird of prey’s voice."  Her national tour in support of the album also brought raves from the likes of Variety who included her show at LA’s famed Troubadour in their “50 Best Concerts of 2022.”   Since getting her start playing fiddle with the legendary Texas Playboys at the young age of 15, the West Texas native has displayed nuanced songwriting and boundless originality. She has collaborated with the likes of John Prine and Justin Townes Earle, and earned the 2017 Emerging Artist of the Year prize from the Americana Music Association (AMA). In addition to being a member of Jason Isbell’s 400 Unit, Amanda is the founder of The Highwomen – a supergroup she performs in along with Maren Morris, Brandi Carlile and Natalie Hemby. The group hit #1 on Billboard’s Top Country Album chart. 

Jason Isbell has established himself as one of the most respected and celebrated songwriters of his generation. The North Alabama native possesses an incredible penchant for identifying and articulating some of the deepest, yet simplest, human emotions, and turning them into beautiful poetry through song. Isbell sings of the everyday human condition with thoughtful, heartfelt, and sometimes brutal honesty. Isbell broke through in 2013 with the release of Southeastern. His next two albums, Something More Than Free (2015) and The Nashville Sound (2017), won Grammy Awards for Best Americana Album and the songs “24 Frames” and “If We Were Best Vampires” have both won the Grammy for Best American Roots Song. Reunions (2020), is a critically-acclaimed collection of ten new songs that showcases an artist at the height of his powers and a band fully charged with creativity and confidence. His most recent release, Georgia Blue (2021), is a collection of Georgia-related cover songs and proceeds from this album benefit voter’s rights organizations in Georgia. In April of 2021, it was announced that Isbell would appear in the upcoming Martin Scorsese film, Killers of the Flower Moon.