Jason Isbell & Amanda Shires denounce CMAs for John Prine snub
The Country Music Association tried to hold their 54th annual award show under the tagline "No Drama, Just Music," but that blew up in their faces when a seemingly endless stream of drama wound up surrounding the ceremony. Their snubbing of the legendary John Prine didn't gain them any goodwill, inspiring ire from his friends and collaborators Sturgill Simpson and Margo Price, and now two more great friends of Prine's, Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires, have spoken out after he wasn't mentioned at all during the ceremony.
"Due to @CountryMusic’s failure to mention John Prine, Jerry Jeff Walker, and Billy Joe Shaver at the CMA’s last night, @amandashires and I have decided to return our membership cards," Isbell posted on Twitter, along with a picture of the cards in question. "I doubt anybody will care, but we cared a lot about our heroes."
Asked by Twitter user @TheSouthernGuru, "Wouldn't it make better sense to retain your membership and work to affect change as a member? Calling it quits might not shake things up. Using your power as an influential artist and voting member could, though," Isbell responded, "I feel my energy is best spent elsewhere."
Prine's widow, Fiona Whelan Prine, also responded to a statement from Prine's label, Oh Boy Records, expressing their disappointment that he wouldn't be part of the show. "I know @JohnPrineMusic was as Country as Country can get," she wrote."Now, if we could just get our hands on that CMA rule book."
Meanwhile, as he's been doing throughout the pandemic, Isbell released another archival live album on Bandcamp. This one is of his socially distanced October 11, 2020 show outside The Caverns in Pelham, TN with The 400 Unit. As usual, you can stream one song now, and purchase the recording to hear the rest.