May 29

Jason Isbell’s “White Man’s World” Is A Wake-Up Call To Injustices

Jason Isbell’s “White Man’s World” is one of the most noteworthy songs from his acclaimed 2017 album “The Nashville Sound” despite receiving little or no airplay on numerous mainstream country radio stations due to its exceptionally touchy topic. The self-penned song was inspired by the 2016 Presidential Elections which won Trump the highest office. 

The critically lauded singer-songwriter tackled the gender and racial injustices by raising questions about his own privileges as a white man, where those came from, and lastly, who paid the price for him to enjoy those privileges. Aside from declaring his own responsibility to constantly evaluate his role in the struggle for equality, Jason Isbell also called for others to acknowledge their own privileges in order to seek justice. And this remains to be a very timely song four years after its release. 

A line in the song, “Mama wants to change that Nashville sound/ But they’re never gonna let her” was actually inspired by Jason Isbell’s wife Amanda Shires. According to Isbell, Shires, who is also a talented singer-songwriter, does not get the same respect and he saw how much harder it was for her. He realized that the music industry was not a level playing field by any means. Amanda Shires wore a shirt that proudly displayed those lyrics when she attended the 2017 CMA Awards. 

After Isbell’s big win at the 2018 Americana Honors & Awards for “The Nashville Sound,” CMT aired the 2018 Americana Fest which was a collection of performances and speeches of the night. Included was a riveting performance of White Man’s World by Jason Isbell with his band 400 Unit and his wife Amanda Shires. 

Catch Jason Isbell’s “White Man’s World” in the video below. This is one of the Jason Isbell songs you should definitely listen to. 


Jason Isbell

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