Zeke's Latest Discovery.... kind of: GREGORY ALAN ISAKOV

Truth be told, I have had the second album by Gregory Alan Isakov on my iPod for quite some time... maybe even a year or more... but I seemingly did NOT pay any attention to it until about a month ago.

If I recall correctly, I think I was drawn to listen to that album (entitled 'THIS EMPTY NORTHERN HEMISPHERE'), because Mr. Isakov was about to make an appearance in Salt Lake, later that evening.  That particular day, I was in a somber mood, mainly because work has really been getting me down lately.  My father passed away early this year, and because of all the time I spent with him in the hospital, as well as assisting before he passed, I essentially burned up all my vacation time and sick leave.  This year has been difficult with not much in the way of a real vacation, and I occasionally experience days of real burnout at work.  It is on days like this that, if lucky, I can truly immerse myself in the right music... and for that particular day, THIS was the RIGHT music.

I ended up listening to the album over and over and over.  I must have listened to it five times that day.  When I got home, I immediately called our local independent record store and inquired if they had the album on vinyl.  Negative.


I got online to see if tickets were still available to the show, expecting there to be some.  I figured if I hadn't really heard of Mr. Isakov, neither had most people.  Wrong again.  The show was sold out.


I had a wild stroke of genius and tried calling The State Room to see they had any of the Gregory Alan Isakov catalog on vinyl at the "merch" table.  Success!!  They said they had the first two albums for sale on vinyl, but the latest album was CD only.  I asked if I could swing by to pick up a record, and they said that it would be fine.  I already had plans to spend the evening with Joan, my other half.  When I picked her up, I informed her that we needed to make a quick stop at The State Room to pick up a record.  We successfully parked right across the street from the venue and j-walked across the busy State Street.

I wormed my way up to the merchandise table (which was actually just the ticket window selling the items) and drooled at the plethora of items available.  There were some of the sweetest tour shirts I had ever seen... but since we were the last date on the tour, they only had shirts in medium and small.


That said, I purchased the first two albums on pristine, high quality wax.  A gentleman out of view began a conversation with the young man helping me, at which point we were asked if we wanted to see the show.  My draw hit the floor when they even offered to give us a complimentary ticket, enabling us to get in for the cost of only one ticket.

NOT damnit.

The show was absolutely amazing.  Gregory, a native of South Africa by way of Boulder, Colorado is seemingly as American as I am, as is his music... but it comes from the heart, piercing my very soul.

His band consisted of him, a violinist, a cellist, and a fourth gentleman that handled everything from guitar to banjo.  Thank heavens this show was at my favorite Salt Lake venue, because people actually LISTEN to the music.  The crowds are some of the best behaved I have ever been part of... and polite to the performer, which is unfortunately a rare occurrence anymore.

Anyhow, enough of my yakkin'.  Let's enjoy some music, shall we?  Well... you enjoy the videos, I'm going to flip my record over and give side 2 a listen.



THAT MOON SONG (Live From the Bing Lounge)

SAINT VALENTINE (audio only, with pictures)