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You can call it Americana if you want, but the work of Jason Isbell is the music that modern country radio abandoned in favor of bro culture, chicks in short shorts, and drinking some of that “good stuff.” Long past his Drive-By Truckers days, Isbell channels strong feelings about life and love through vivid characters. Who else among his country contemporaries is writing songs about living double lives or wrestling with sobriety? While country superstar Luke Bryan’s latest offering obsesses over spring break, the first single from Isbell’s new album of the same name, “Something More Than Free,” celebrates working-class people just trying to get by: “And I don’t think on why I’m here where it hurts/I’m just lucky to have the work/Sunday morning I’m too tired to go to church/But I thank God for the work.” Though he’s the opening act at Merriweather, Isbell is a marquee talent. Jason Isbell performs with My Morning Jacket at 7 p.m. at Merriweather Post Pavilion, 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia. $40–$55. (410) 715-5550. merriweathermusic.com.