Wednesday, September 26, 2012


i first met gregory alan isakov sometime around the fall of 2001. we worked at a neighborhood cafe in boulder, colorado. i was a fresh faced nineteen year old with her first job outside the comforts of my hometown. i was intimidated by all the new people i was meeting. but not him. greg had such a calm cool about him. i remember his quietness as he hand-rolled his cigarettes out on the brick walkway. he was kind, genuine, and humble. nearly eleven years later and not a single one of those attributes has changed. 

one afternoon a baker at the cafe was playing a cassette tape (yes, a cassette tape) in the back of the kitchen. i remember being drawn in by the sound. finding out it was gregory's voice made it all the more sweet. i 'borrowed' the tape for the next year. my roommate and i would listen to it all day long, flipping it over and over until the tape wore out. four albums later and his music is still on replay. his music is full of heart. his melody intoxicating. 

gregory is a very talented musician. it is clear from the first listen. but for me, it is the added beauty of his lyrics that sets him apart from other singer/songwriters. he is thoughtful + careful with his words. he is a poet. some lines mid song just sting, cling, and stay there a while. one of my favorites has always been "that stable song" from his 2007 album "that sea, the gambler": 

come to me clear and cold on some sea
watch the world spinning some machine

now i’ve been crazy couldn’t you tell
i threw stones at the stars, but the whole sky fell
now i’m covered up in straw, belly up on the table
well and sang and drank, and passed in the stable.

that tall grass grows high and brown,
well i dragged you straight in the muddy ground
and you sent me back to where i roam
well i cursed and i cried, but now i know…now i know

and i ran back to that hollow again
the moon was just a sliver back then
and i ached for my heart like some tin man
when it came oh it beat and it boiled and it rang..its ringing

ring like crazy, ring like hell

turn me back into that wild haired gale
ring like silver, ring like gold
turn these diamonds straight back into coal.

this afternoon i stumbled upon this video. i love the aesthetic of it. it's that simplistic and intimate vibe of sitting in your living room and listening to gregory perform. just letting the sound wash over you. i think you will see just what it is that makes this man so special. enjoy.

to read more and see more about gregory alan isakov 
click >>>> HERE <<<<

video credit: "big black car" by gregory alan isakov. performed by isakov, jeb bows, phil parker. film by todd roeth

see more of the incredible work by todd roeth >>> HERE <<<

photo credit: one || folk radio uk; three ||via night fox isakov pictured with nathaniel rateliff; four || shaun photography; five ||via papa bean sprout.

1 comment: