Jason Isbell’s 400 Unit Bassist Jimbo Hart Has Left the Band


Hart, one of the original members of Isbell’s backing band, took a leave of absence from the group earlier this year

Jimbo Hart, one of the founding members of Jason Isbell’s backing band, the 400 Unit, has officially departed the group. Hart, the band’s bassist, shared the news in an online post on Monday morning.

“I’m no longer a member of the 400 Unit. I’m grateful for all the years, all the faces I’ve played for in the course of the band’s history and proud of all we accomplished,” Hart wrote. “I’m happy to be moving forward into a new chapter of life and open to all possibilities, as they may arise.”

Hart announced he was taking a leave of absence from touring with the 400 Unit in June, just a few days before Isbell and the group released their new album Weathervanes. “I’m taking some time to take care of my mental health and resolve some old-school traumas,” he tweeted, telling followers later that month that he was in rehab and regularly sharing candid updates about his progress.

With Hart sidelined, the 400 Unit toured in support of Weathervanes with a rotating cast of bassists, including Anna Butterss, Cat Popper, and Dominic John Davis. A new press photo of Isbell and the 400 Unit features Butterss and multi-tool player Will Johnson in the lineup; both appeared with the band onstage for a recent Austin City Limits episode.


Isbell’s relationship with Hart goes back to when Isbell was in the Drive-By Truckers. After leaving the Truckers, Isbell stayed at Hart’s place and eventually asked him to play bass in his solo band, which transformed into the 400 Unit (shorthand for the psych ward in an Alabama hospital near where Isbell was raised). Hart talked to the Village Voice in 2017 about the relationship among the musicians following a harsh 2008 winter tour. “We all referred to it as the hell tour,” Hart said. “But we all persevered, and those of us who stuck through it have formed a really strong bond.”

Hart played on nearly all of Isbell’s albums, beginning with 2009’s Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit. Weathervanes, which also features Hart’s bass, is nominated for a Grammy for Best Americana Album.

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