A Conversation with Chris Isaak
Soulful singer and accomplished actor Chris Isaak plays The Joint in Catoosa’s Hard Rock Casino on August 30. While early hits like “Wicked Game” and “Don’t Make Me Dream About You” launched his career, he’s still going strong, touring, recording and winning new fans decades later.
In 2011, Isaak released Beyond the Sun, covering songs originally recorded by legendary Sun Studio artists like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis. Isaak’s musical gifts seem tailor-made for songs like “Great Balls of Fire” and “I Walk the Line”, and the album reflects this musician’s passion for the glory days of Memphis’ fabled recording studio. I recently had the chance to ask Isaak a few questions by email about his songwriting and his latest project.
JW: How has your approach to songwriting changed (if it has) over your career?
CI: Well, I think in some ways I am writing songs the same way I did when I was twelve years old. I start singing and make up some words and a story, then I keep at it. I keep reworking the weak parts and polishing the good parts and hope by the time I’m done I have something I like. I remember when I was a kid I saved my money and bought a tape recorder. It was one of the early cassette recorders that had a “stick shift” sort of control. My friends all thought I was nuts not to buy a football with the money. I remember coming