Thursday, June 18, 2009

Gregory Alan Isakov

It is my great pleasure to introduce Gregory Alan Isakov, Colorado's favorite son and one of my personal favorites. This is the first post in a series of some of the local talent around where i am living currently. There are some remarkable things going on, and i don't know if anybody knows about any of it, outside of the front range.
Gregory Alan Isakov has got it. He deserves to go all the way to the stars he loves to talk about so much, and he is taking steps to get there, touring with Brandi Carlisle and the Indigo Girls this summer. Even as his audience and band get bigger and bigger, his music maintains its sense of hushed intimacy, like he's whispering secrets to you by candlelight. While quite and intimate, his music is also rich and full, fleshed out by his backing band The Freight which features cello, drums, pedal steel, keyboards, and 'God Noises'; quite the departure from 2007's That Sea, The Gambler, which is also mighty fine. Also, he has left behind a rather large debt to M. Ward on that album to inherit his own voice that fans of indie-folk will freak over. The fact that he closes the album by 'One of us Can't be Wrong' by Leonard Cohen, and speaks of Bruce Springsteen and Paul Simon in interviews shows that he is not afraid to write classic songs, to inherit the mantle of the brilliant singer/songwriter. Not that you'd ever know it, from speaking to him; he is approachable, soft-spoken, and humble, with kind eyes and a great hat.
So, this is This Empty Northern Hemisphere by Gregory Alan Isakov. There is not a bad song on here, and i do not say that lightly, with the first three songs, 'Dandelion Wine' (which features another local gem Julie Davis of Bela Karoli on stand-up bass), 'Light Year', and 'That Moon Song' being a particularly powerful trio. 'That Moon Song' joins the ranks of 'The Stable Song' from That Sea, The Gambler as an instant favorite and guaranteed crowd pleaser.
Most of the album maintains the late-night star-gazing vibe, with occasional uptempo forays like 'Evelyn', a story about a down-n-out barmaid, to add some variety. 'This Empty Northern Hemisphere', the title track is epic as hell, and doubly so live. Personal favorites are 'Dandelion Wine', 'Master & a Hound' with its nifty finger-picking, and 'If I go, I'm Going' with its house on fire imagery. There are numerous lyrical references to ghosts, empty houses, night sky, church steeples, that fits this album nicely and immediately in my mythos.
I cannot recommend this highly enough, this is truly special music, i believe that he deserves to be known world-wide and probably will. I just happen to have the good fortune to live in the same town, see him at little clubs, and buy his albums from him personally.


  1. hey the link sends you to download the rar file. unfortunately, i'm no help with how to embed audio files. anyway, i hope it gets worked out so others can hear the brilliance the is Gregory Alan Isakov.

    I'm interested in what other locals acts you will be covering.

  2. Next up will be a band called Widow's Bane, some gypsy/goth/country goodness. Then Bela Karoli, who will knock yr socks off! If anyone reading this is local, make sure you go see these guys live, as often as possible, they're all really talented, and mostly very nice people as well! Stay tuned.