HBO Original documentary film JASON ISBELL: RUNNING WITH OUR EYES CLOSED, directed and produced by Sam Jones (HBO’s “Tony Hawk: Until The Wheels Fall Off”) and executive produced by Emmy® winners Mark and Jay Duplass (HBO’s “The Lady and the Dale”) and The Ringer’s Bill Simmons (HBO’s “Andre The Giant,” “Showbiz Kids”), debuts FRIDAY, APRIL 7 (8:00-9:40 p.m. ET/PT). The next installment of the Music Box series, which focuses on pivotal moments in music, will debut on HBO and be available to stream on HBO Max.
In his own words, renowned singer and songwriter Jason Isbell takes us on an unexpected journey through his musical evolution and creative process as he goes into the studio to record his new album “Reunions” with his band The 400 Unit. With striking candor and honesty, Isbell lays bare his difficult childhood, his struggles with addiction and relationships, and funneling all his pain and private battles into his music. When the COVID-19 pandemic arrives and forces him and his family into lockdown, Isbell must confront the self-doubt and fears that isolation brings to a recovering addict and artist, even as the album releases to rave reviews.
As the film pulls back the curtain on Jason’s deeply personal way of creating music, he talks openly about the challenges brought about by collaborating closely with his wife Amanda Shires, herself an acclaimed singer, songwriter, and fiddle player. As they write, record, and perform together, it becomes clear how intricately linked they are artistically, and how that connection both enhances and complicates their marriage.
Intimately shot and revealing the inner workings of a major artist, JASON ISBELL: RUNNING WITH OUR EYES CLOSED is a unique film about a talented singer. As the four-time GRAMMY winner connects the dots from his childhood in rural Alabama to battling alcoholism during his time with the band Drive-By Truckers, to the current state of his marriage, he acknowledges the crucial part that music has played in his life, the outlet it provides for his artistry, and the comfort it brings him in times of difficulty.
JASON ISBELL: RUNNING WITH OUR EYES CLOSED is highlighted by candid interviews with Jason and Amanda Pearl Shires and his musical peers including musicians Chad Gamble, Sadler Vaden, Jimbo Hart, Derry DeBorja, Patterson Hood, producer Dave Cobb, and manager Traci Thomas.
HBO Documentary Films presents JASON ISBELL: RUNNING WITH OUR EYES CLOSED in association with Ringer Films, Duplass Brothers Productions, and Beware Doll / GraySky. Directed and produced by Sam Jones; produced by Crawford Shippey; co-produced by Traci Thomas, Will Dowsett, Davin Michaels, and Pell James; executive produced by Bill Simmons, Mark Duplass, Mel Eslyn, Jay Duplass, Jody Gerson, and Marc Cimino; co-executive produced by Geoff Chow, Sean Fennessey, Noah Malale, Shuli Harel. For HBO: executive producers, Nancy Abraham, Lisa Heller, and Tina Nguyen.