If you don't already have plans tonight for Valentine's eve -- like, say, seeing DeVotchKa at the Paramount -- it would be well worth your time to stop by the Bluebird to catch Gregory Alan Isakov & the Freight, with Oakhurst. By now, you're probably intimately familiar with the guy we named best singer-songwriter in 2007. If by some chance you're not, though, tonight would make a fitting introduction -- not to mention that this may be your last chance to see him for a few months, as he's just preparing to hit the road with Brandi Carlile for sixteen dates, followed by a half-dozen shows across the pond.
As reported here last November, Carlile and Isakov became friends and began collaborating shortly after the latter opened for the former at the Chatauqua last summer. And what started as just a few live duets has led to a cameo on Isakov's forthcoming release, This Empty Northern Hemisphere. Actually, saying the pair collaborated in the studio is a bit of a misnomer. According to Isakov, the sessions for the album took place in a variety of locales, including Carlile's place in Seattle, some at his house, in an empty bookstore in Boulder that was closing, as well various other places. All of it was captured on Isakov's laptop and handed over to Jamie Medford (Blue Light), who's been "making all the shitty noises I recorded go away," as Isakov puts it.
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A few weeks after the tour with Carlile wraps, Isakov and a few of his bandmates, Jeb Bows and Jen Gilleran, will head to Amsterdam for a series of shows. The opportunity presented itself by virtue of an ailing long-distance fan who reached out to Isakov and offered to do whatever it took to bring him over. The fan, who was stricken with cancer, has since passed away, but his friends contacted Isakov and let him know that they knew how important this was and they intended to see it through.
It's not too surprising that Isakov's music has had that profound of an effect on somebody who's never even met him. We've watched the guy completely still chatty audiences with a few chords and a simple melody. See for yourself tonight at the Bluebird -- and if you have friends in any of the cities below, be sure to let them know of all the goodness that's in store.
Gregory Alan Isakov
* with Brandi Carlile
03/24/09 - World Cafe - Philaphelphia, PA*
03/25/09 - Ramshead - Annapolis, MD*
03/26/09 - Birchmere - Washington, DC*
03/27/09 - Woodstock Town Hall Theatre - Woodstock, VT*
03/28/09 - Westhampton Beach PAC - Westhampton Beach, NY*
03/31/09 - Tarrytown Music Hall - Tarrytown, New York*
04/01/09 - The Music Hall - Portsmouth, NH*
04/02/09 - Iron Horse - Northampton, MA*
04/03/09 - South Portland Auditorium - Portland, ME*
04/04/09 - Ethical Center for the Arts - New York, NY*
04/06/09 - Kent Stage - Kent OH*
04/07/09 - Wharton Center - East Lansing, MI*
04/08/09 - Lakeshore Theatre - Chicago, IL*
04/09/09 - Pabst Theater - Milwaukee, WI*
04/10/09 - Alltel Center - Mankato, MN*
04/11/09 - Hoyt Sherman Theatre - Des Moines, IA*
04/24/09 - De Bosuil - Weert, Limburg
04/25/09 - Muziekpodium Bakkeveen - Bakkeveen, Friesland
04/26/09 - House Concert - Bakkeveen, Friesland
04/28/09 - Q-Bus - Leiden, Zuid-Holland
05/03/09 - Huis Verloren - Hoorn, Noord-Holland