Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit fans will be able to purchase the band's new album earlier than expected through independent record stores. Reunions, due out on May 15, will be available via indie record shops in the United States and Canada one week early, on May 8.

Fans who buy Reunions through a participating independent record store can choose between a CD copy of the record or an orange, "dreamsicle"-colored vinyl, a nod to the album's second song. They will also receive a limited-edition print featuring one of Isbell's beloved guitars, a 1959 Gibson Les Paul dubbed Red Eye.

"Gotta do we can to keep those shops in business," Isbell says of the decision on Twitter. Fans can find more information about the indie record store-only release, which is available for pre-order now, at RecordStoreDay.com.

Record stores are among the small businesses that have been forced to close due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. While some shops have begun offering contactless pickup or selling their stock online, disposable income for many music fans is tight because of COVID-related layoffs and furloughs, meaning that even if a store has found a way to continue sales, it is still likely not making as much money as before.

Small record stores were also looking forward to strong sales days on Record Store Day 2020, originally scheduled for April 18. The annual springtime holiday celebrates independent vinyl retailers with a day of exclusive and first-time releases, helping draw crowds to brick-and-mortar stores rather than online sellers. Due to the spread of the coronavirus, Record Store Day organizers made the decision in late March to postpone the 2020 event until June 20.

Reunions is Isbell and company's first since 2017's The Nashville Sound. A No. 1 album on the Billboard Folk, Independent, Country and Rock Albums charts, that record received Best Americana Album at the Grammy Awards and Album of the Year at the Americana Honors & Awards. It was also nominated at the CMA Awards for Album of the Year, earning Isbell his first CMA nod.

Isbell fans have already been able to hear "Be Afraid," "What've I Done to Help" and "Only Children" from Reunions. Dave Cobb produced the 10-song project.

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