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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Gregory Alan Isakov at Chautauqua

The usher whispers “can I show you to your seat?” as Jeffery Foucalt quietly hums his country tunes in the unbelievably acoustic venue that is Chautauqua as he opens the sold out show for Gregory Alan Isakov.  Jeffery Foucault sings country as it is meant to be heard, just a man with his guitar, voice, and emotions.  The songs cut to my core and rattled my feelings with empathy.  After his short set, anticipation hums in the air as the crowd of 600 waits for their favorite home town folk singer/songwriter to take the stage.

A ray of light bursts out of the side stage door and into the dark concert hall as Gregory and his band make their way to the stage over a roar of applause.  They settle right in and begin an hour and a half set of Gregory’s beautifully composed local favorite tunes.  Gregory and his bands stage presence draws the attention of every listener, hung up on every lyric.  He plays several songs off his first two albums, and the majority of the tracks from the critically acclaimed “This Empty Northern Hemisphere.”  The treat of the show however was the sneak peak into his new album scheduled to come out in the next few months, that he jokes he’d been working on for “100 years.”

The show rolls on, quiet, acoustic, and beautiful. “We’re so blown away that we get to play there,” Gregory says, enjoying the atmosphere of a hometown crowd who has supported him for years.  Much too soon, the show draws near its conclusion.  Gregory Alan Isakov and his band close with the bone chillingly sad song “Master and a Hound.”  Gregory jokes “we’re going to end with a sad song, because sad songs make me happy.”  The band walks off the stage, only to be cheered on for a much-desired encore, happily the band appears once more to play three more beautiful songs.  I leave with a smile, feeling relaxed and peaceful after listening to Gregory Alan Isakov and his band’s tranquil, meditative, folk songs.

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