Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit will headline The Oxford American’s fourth and final event in its “ABALABIP!” concert series on Saturday, Sept. 10, at the historic Bama Theatre in Tuscaloosa. The event begins at 8 p.m. and also will feature jazz bass superstar and Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame Inductee Cleve Eaton & The Alabama All Stars; North Alabama alt-country folk players The Bear; and Huntsville hip-hop sensation G-SIDE. “The Sept. 10 concert will bring to life the idea that to fully appreciate the astounding musical heritage of Alabama a lot of genres must be played with,” said Marc Smirnoff, editor of The Oxford American. This event is the last of four Oxford American events that have been taking place in Alabama throughout 2011 to celebrate Alabama music and The Oxford American’s 12th annual Southern Music Issue, which focused on the musical heritage of Alabama. Previous concerts took place in Birmingham, Florence, and Gulf Shores.
     The Oxford American concert series is called “ABALABIP!,” after a 1950 song by Eddie Cole—brother of Nat King Cole, and born in Montgomery—that is featured in the magazine and its accompanying CD.
The ABALABIP series also acts in tandem with THE YEAR OF ALABAMA MUSIC, an initiative by the Alabama Tourism Department to highlight the state’s rich musical heritage. The Oxford American is purposefully keeping the ticket price low — $10 — because the aim is to make this event accessible to anyone interested in Alabama music. All ticket sales benefit the American Red Cross and the Governor’s Emergency Relief Fund for storm victims. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.oxfordamerican.org/news-events/events/2011/sep/10/abalabip-tuscaloosa-alabama, or by calling 501-320-5730. The Bama Theatre is located at 600 Greensboro Avenue in Tuscaloosa. This event is presented in partnership with the Tuscaloosa Arts Council and the Frances S. Summersell Center for the Study of the South at the University of Alabama. Support is provided by the Alabama Department of Tourism, Florence Lauderdale Tourism, Lucy Buffett’s LuLu’s at Homeport Marina, MINI, Arkansas Delta Byways, and Jim ‘N Nick’s.

The Oxford American’s Southern Music Issue and CD featuring Alabama can be purchased directly at www.oxfordamerican.org.

The New York Times once wrote, “The Oxford American may be the liveliest literary magazine in America … The CDs are so smart and eclectic they probably belong in the Smithsonian.” The annual Southern Music Issue with CD has run for twelve years (give or take a few years) since 1999 and has featured both famous and profoundly neglected musicians, from Nat King Cole to Eddie Cole, Steve Young to The K-Pers, Isaac Hayes to Mary Gresham, Emmylou Harris to Rose Maddox, Dinah Washington to Lil Greenwood, Carl Perkins to Hardrock Gunter, and so on. More information can be found at: http://www.oxfordamerican.org. We hope to see you there!