Gregory Alan Isakov
Date/TimeMonday, October 15 at 8 PM
Few artists maintain the lifestyle kept by Gregory Alan Isakov, a Colorado-based indie-folk artist and a full-time farmer who sells vegetable seeds and grows various market crops on his three-acre farm, while also tending to a thriving musical career.
Isakov had an easier time balancing his two passions while making his fourth full-length studio album, Evening Machines. In between farm duties, the multi-instrumentalist wrote and recorded in a studio housed in a barn on his property. Like the farm, this studio has a communal atmosphere, filled with instruments and gear stored there by musician friends—gear Isakov always leaves on, just in case inspiration strikes.
“Sometimes I couldn’t sleep, so I’d walk into the studio and work really hard into the night,” he says. “A lot of times I would find myself in the light of all these VU meters and the tape machine glow, so that’s where the title came from. I recorded mostly at night, when I wasn’t working in the gardens. It doesn’t matter if it’s summer or winter, morning or afternoon, this music always feels like evening to me.”
As its name implies, the dark indie rock and folk populating Evening Machines possesses a dusky hue. Hushed acoustic guitar and sparse piano combine for a moody foundation amplified by ornate and heavy embellishments: distant electric guitars, keyboards, pedal steel, saw, percussion, strings, banjo, and some electronic drums. Lilting background vocals intertwine with Isakov’s watercolor-streaked murmur on “Powder,” while “Where You Gonna Go” applies haunting, echoing vocal effects to his voice.
Glen Phillips has always been a courageous and inviting songwriter. During his years as lead singer of Toad the Wet Sprocket, the band’s elegant folk/pop sound and his honest, introspective lyrics helped them forge a close bond with their fans. Since starting his solo career, Phillips has pared his music down to its emotional core, concentrating on the simple truths of love and relationships, with a profound spiritual understanding.