Gregory Alan Isakov

Live Review | Town Hall, Kirton in Lindsey | Review by Allan Wilkinson

Once again the Town Hall in Kirton in Lindsey played host to another visiting artist from the States, this time the Colorado-based singer-songwriter Gregory Alan Isakov, who brought with him his own brand of laid-back atmospheric songs.  Selecting material primarily from his current album This Northern Hemisphere, the Johannesburg-born songwriter performed each song in a distinctively gentle manner, the emphasis centred on creating an atmosphere for each song, helped along by the trademark use of two microphones, one slightly distorting the voice.  The set was augmented by some intuitive electric guitar accompaniment from best friend and touring companion Ramaya Soskin, whose sensitive guitar playing and harmony vocals fleshed out the songs superbly well, bringing to each song just the right amount of embellishment, which suitably enhanced each performance.  With songs from the current album including “Evelyn”, “Virginia May”, “That Moon Song”, “If I Go, I’m Gone” and the soulful “Master and a Hound”, both musicians seemed relaxed and very much at home in the so called ‘Shire’.  The Tolkien reference was emphasised further by the relatively tall Ramaya when referring to Gregory as a Hobbit, whilst adjusting his mic stand to perform a couple of his own songs.  “Oh he likes it” quipped the singer, going on to perform “All in Good Time” and “Heatbreaker”, both from Soskin’s own solo album.  A couple of earlier songs from Gregory’s That Sea, The Gambler period, including “The Stable Song”, “3AM” and the title song, were performed during the course of the night, together with “Second Chances”, a brand new song destined for his forthcoming fifth album.  With an appreciative and respectful audience, a proverbial pin could’ve been heard to drop during each set, that is apart from the noise level being suitably raised at the end of each song, for some enthusiastic and thoroughly deserved applause.  Finishing the night with Leonard Cohen’s “Chelsea Hotel”, which was dedicated to the humble MC, Gregory Alan Isakov maintained the standard that the Town Hall Live series of concerts have come to expect.