Posts Tagged ‘Colorado. Singer Songwriter’


100000x100000 999

It makes all the sense in the world that Gregory Alan Isakov owns and tends a farm on Boulder, Colorado’s outskirts when he’s not touring. He’s a man who appreciates the peace of mind one finds only in nature; “Nature is a reference point for sanity, I draw a lot from it, just like every other living thing,” he mentioned in an interview back in 2016. You get the sense of his ideology listening Evening Machines, his latest album, a piece of work written in the language of the natural world. Isakov strikes as too humble to claim fluency in that language, but he’s well versed enough. Environmental imagery peppers the album, from the earth beneath us all the way up to the galaxy. “Those bright crooked stars, man they’re howlin’ out,” he muses on the record’s closing track, “Wings in All Black.”

The sky is a recurring image throughout Evening Machines, as seen in the title of “Wings in All Black,” the lyrics of “Caves” (“I used to love caves / Stumble out into that pink sky”), or the lyrics of “Dark, Dark, Dark,” where he sings about Maria, who’s “got wings, she’s got legs for the sea.” Maybe Isakov has destinations in mind other than the open plain; maybe he’s a drifter, or a bit of a loner. The album cover hints at the truth, depicting Isakov keeping vigil among fields of grass, staring ahead at a gathering storm, but even so he remains an elusive, almost capricious figure. He likes his quiet, and he’s clearly prone to reflection, but in Evening Machines he finds himself at home, contemplating his past and present in modest spirit. It’s an album of small intentions with a grand sweep, intimate and boundless at the same time.



Because sometimes one of the best voices in sad bastard music up and shifts gears and makes a rollicking, soul-infused rock and roll record and it works. It’s a record that has a little bit of it all, showcasing Rateliff the Soul Man, Rateliff the Sad Man and every variation of Nathaniel Rateliff between, never once sounding disingenuous or stretched too thin.