Indie Folk Is Alive And Well
I first saw Gregory Alan Isakov perform at the Newport Folk Festival last summer, and a friend and I have been anxiously awaiting his return to Boston so we could see him in a headlining show. Our patience was rewarded this week at the second of two sold-out shows at The Sinclair!
Sometimes when an artist wows me at a festival I am slightly disappointed when I see them in a headlining show; this could not be further from the truth with Greg! What a fabulous show (and one of the most respectful audiences I have ever witnessed at a standing venue)!
Greg is an indie folk singer-songwriter born in South Africa (which I learned from his Facebook page) but living in Colorado. He is not a flashy performer – he leaves that up to his band – but he captivates his audiences with his well-crafted songs and a voice that is smooth as caramel. He uses what I believe is an Argonne microphone for many of his songs, and I love the effect it has on his voice.
Greg leaves it up to his band to provide the ‘flash’ for his fantastic songs. Jeb Bows on violin and vocals, Phil Parker on cello and vocals, Jamie Mefford on drums, and Steve Varney on guitar, banjo and vocals comprise his band.
With three albums under his belt and hopefully a new one on the way (they performed a couple of new songs as I recall), Greg has more than enough material to fill a headlining setlist. They played songs from all three albums, although most came from his 2013 release, The Weatherman. That album contains ‘Amsterdam’, ‘Saint Valentine’, and ‘Suitcase Full of Sparks’, at least two of which they played.
Although I do not believe ‘All Shades of Blue’ was on the setlist (sometimes it is hard for me to remember what was performed when I know and listen often to the artist’s albums), I want to share part of that song’s lyrics to give you an idea of his songwriting. “broken bottles shine just like stars/make a wish anyway/just your smile lit a sixty-watt bulb in my house/that was darkened for days/been thinking you probably should stay/yeah, I think that you probably should stay”.
Greg, I think you probably should stay on the music scene… Your voice needs to be heard.
Jolie Holland opened the show. Honestly, the audience and I were underwhelmed although I liked her a bit better when she sang with Greg.
See him while you can in smaller venues; these shows sold over 1,000 tickets so Greg is probably headed for bigger and less intimate venues.
Ticket courtesy of Gregory Alan Isakov; all opinions are my own.
Posted on April 18, 2015, in concert photos, concert reviews, music, Uncategorized and tagged boston, concert photos, concert review, Gregory Alan Isakov, indie folk music, Jamie Mefford, Jeb Bows, Phil Parker, Steve Varney, The Sinclair. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.