As I was saying, about Gregory Alan Isakov
I listed Isakov among my top five favorite new artists in a blog post earlier this week, guessing people might start knowing more about him as he tours a bit more with Brandi Carlile. Then, this morning, into my inbox flies a press release about how the two are touring more extensively together this spring.
Also notable is Isakov’s forthcoming album, which sees him collaborating with the inimitably voiced Carlile on a Leonard Cohen cover tune and four other songs. The full release from Madison House Publicity is below, but first here’s a video of the two of them together doing a little Patsy Cline in Bellingham, Wash.:
GREGORY ALAN ISAKOV ON TOUR WITH BRANDI CARLILE
THE SINGER/SONGWRITER RELEASES HIS NEW ALBUM, THIS EMPTY NORTHERN HEMPISPHERE, ON MAY 19, 2009.
Singer/songwriter Gregory Alan Isakov hits the road with Americana artist Brandi Carlile for a string of March and April 2009 dates. Isakov’s forthcoming album release, This Empty Northern Hemisphere (May 19, 2009), features a duet with Carlile – a cut of Leonard Cohen’s “One of Us Cannot Be Wrong.” Carlile also performs on four of the album’s original songs.
It was while touring that Isakov first caught the attention of Carlile. The pair have since become collaborators and friends. For this special run of dates, Isakov and Carlile are sure to bring some of their recent collaborations live to the stage.
The current list of confirmed tour dates with Gregory Alan Isakov and Brandi Carlile is as follows:
March 24 World Cafe Philadelphia PA
March 25 Ram’s Head Annapolis MD
March 26 Birchmere Washington DC
March 27 Woodstock Town Hall Theatre Woodstock VT
March 28 Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center Westhampton Beach NY
March 31 Tarrytown Music Hall Tarrytown NY
April 01 The Music Hall Portsmouth NH
April 02 Iron Horse Northampton MA
April 03 South Portland Auditorium South Portland ME
April 04 Ethical Center for the Arts New York NY
April 06 Kent Stage Kent OH
April 07 The Vogue Indianapolis IN
April 08 Lakeshore Theater Chicago IL
April 09 Pabst Theater Milwaukee WI
April 10 Alltel Center Mankato MN
April 11 Hoyt Sherman Theater Des Moines IA
Aril 14 Wheeler Opera House Aspen CO
This Empty Northern Hemisphere is Isakov’s latest collection of songs in which he conjures the miracles and heartaches of day to day living then transforms them into melodies, with a serious commitment to songcraft and musicianship.
“Writing and performing is a mystery to me,” explains the South African born multi-instrumentalist. “I try
to get myself out of the way as much as I can.”
“There were moments while making the new album that were so different than anything I’ve done before,” says Isakov, who combines his personal past with poetry to create a musically visceral present.
His music dubbed “punk folk” by the Indigo Girls’ Amy Ray, Isakov has been recognized by critics and colleagues as a real and original talent. In 2008, Denver’s Westword named Isakov their Best Acoustic Folk Artist. The previous year he was given the paper’s Best of Denver Singer-Songwriter award; they called him “a rootsier Glen Phillips channeling Kelly Joe Phelps.”
Comparisons bother Isakov; he’s brought his influences into the fold for This Empty Northern Hemisphere. “Everyone I’ve ever listened to made it into the record–It’s like a traveling circus.” And Isakov is its truth and beauty-seeking ringmaster.