HBO announces Jason Isbell documentary

Film is next installment of the Music Box series

HBO has announced that Jason Isbell: Running With Our Eyes Closed is the next installment of its popular Music Box series created by Bill Simmons. The HBO Original documentary premieres Friday, April 7 at 8 pm ET/PT on HBO and stream on HBO Max. The documentary is 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).

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 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 Isbell’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, the documentary 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.

The film is highlighted by candid interviews with Jason and wife 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.

Isbell and Shires have been named 2023 Record Store Day Ambassadors for the April 22nd event. The pair will also release The Sound Emporium EP, which includes new songs from both Isbell and Shires, to independent record stores for the global celebration.

Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites. Email: