Rustic warmth and seeping wistfulness
The honest, richly-spun folk sounds of Gregory Alan Isakov captivated a packed house in Denver last week as he opened for the Calexico show. I've written about the marvelous skiffle of Isakov's "The Salt and The Sea" tune before, and have been appreciated the bright talent of this local artist in several venues across Colorado this year. I love to hear Gregory sing; his voice is really something special in the singer-songwriter pantheon, with hints of sly knowing, balanced with a warm and soaring verve.
"Gonna write one for you, the unwritable girl . . ."
Unwritable Girl - Gregory Alan Isakov
[from his 2007 album That Sea, The Gambler]
All pictures of Gregory's set with Calexico are here.
Isakov is playing again this Friday night at Boulder's B-Side Lounge with Wisconsin folk artist Peter Mulvey. When I ripped out the ad in The Onion at a local coffee shop, I knew I recognized the name Mulvey from somewhere fantastic. Turns out that I've long loved a collaborative set that Mulvey did with two other excellent "dusky-Americana" musicians in the same vein: Jeffrey Foucault and Chris Smither. I've listened to this set from WPLN many times when I need an infusion of something . . . authentic.
In addition to a cover of "Buckets of Rain" that gets me every single time, this set also includes one of my favorite sad songs of the last few years, "Northbound 35."
I mean seriously:
We fought all night
and then we danced in your kitchen
You were as much in my hands
As water or darkness or nothing
Can ever be held
It's just flashes that we own
made from breath and from bone
And out on the darkling plain alone
They light up the sky
Agonizingly gorgeous in the sadness.
DOWNLOAD THE SET:
WPLN SONGWRITER SESSION, MARCH 2003
Train Home - Chris Smither
29 Cent Head - Peter Mulvey
Stripping Cane - Jeffrey Foucault
Lola - Chris Smither
Stranded in a Limousine - Peter Mulvey
Northbound 35 - Jeffrey Foucault **highest rec**
Crocodile Man - Chris Smither
Shirt - Peter Mulvey
Secretariat - Jeffrey Foucault
Outside In - Chris Smither
The Road To Mallow - Peter Mulvey
Buckets of Rain (Dylan) - Jeffrey Foucault
ZIP: MULVEY-FOUCAULT-SMITHER SONGWRITER SESSION
TICKETS: Gregory Alan Isakov with Peter Mulvey
Friday, Dec 12 - B-Side Lounge in Boulder