Well, I have been busy in the studio in my hometown of Whitehorse, Yukon working on my new record that will be released in the spring of 2013. The album is called (Here On Earth). This newest project will feature the king of upright bass Mr. Keith Picot. (Bass player of the year 2010). My first solo release was a great success and received rave reviews from North America and Europe and was nominated for a (Western Canadian Music Award). This follow up record is acoustic and has a lot of diverse feels on it, from heavy swing to folky blues type tunes, country blues, spirituals, and even some hard hitting funk grooves in a post war, Texas type of way. I'm so excited about this new record and am busy working away on the tracks as we speak. My brother, the one and only Mr. Chris Isaak is doing his best production work yet. He is an amazing producer and it's such an honor to work with him and I could not do it without him. I'll be giving away a free download in the next couple weeks of a unmixed track from the upcoming CD, so stay tuned for that. I feel this will be my best record to date and would like to thank all of you folks for the continued support.
Have a little sneak peek at this short fun promo video we threw together...
Well it's been quite the week for sure. Keith Picot and I started out driving Wednesday to Peachland to play at The Castle. It was like a big ol' castle with about 10 rooms in it. A super view and the nicest folks running the place. We played to a sold out audience and had way to much fun. After we finished the show we stuck around and listened to some of the locals get on stage and do there thing. That night Keith and I did a short silent movie in Keith's room called ( The Hit.) Real nice evening and we'll be back for sure. Thursday night we played in Kelowna at The Minstrel Cafe. Always a real nice place with great staff and killer food. Saw some old friends and generally had a lovely evening. After the show we went to out hotel and brainstormed another short film and added ( The Gambler ) to our short film list. Friday we hit the one and only Dream Cafe. This is one of our most favourite places in BC to play. Pierre and Debora always take such great care of us and the staff are just stellar to work with. Both nights were sold out and we just had a hoot playing in that room with the interactive crowds. We always love to talk to the people and include them into our show. Later that night, we filmed another short called ( The Talent Show.) We just come up with concepts for the movie as we film them, so sometimes they come out a little funny like. Sometimes we just film scenes and then turn it into a story in the editing. Saturday night much of the same. We ate a killer meal as they always serve up at The Dream and then got down to business and made music and comedy at the same time. When the show ended we chilled in our room and watched old silent movies and ate popcorn, wow, do we know how to party. Sunday night, we made our way to Osoyoo's to play a sold out show at The Old Orchard. Again, this is a great job we have, and we feel so blessed to get to do what we do. A awesome night of great friends and good times. Keith and I are now working on a new hobo short silent doc style movie. It's called ( Jim O' Jim.) To be coming to a youtube near you. The release dat will be in the next day or so. If you are interested in seeing some of our short films, just go to the Duo page and scroll down and there you go.
Thanks for checking out my blog and tune in next week for another update of the 2 of us and our adventures.
Well last night was a perfect blues storm. The Rhumba room in White Rock, B.C. was packed, the lights were dimmed and the folks were waiting patiently for the show to start. This Show was another successful evening brought to you by The White Rock Blues Society. These guys keep delivering the goods, and doing it with style. I was the first act up to entertain the folks, I did a solo set for 1 hour and really had fun. I did 3 tunes I wrote last week made 2 songs up on the fly and did a few from my latest CD (Bluesman's Plea). It was a real honour and privilege to do this show with 2 of my favourite bluesmen and dear friends Haprdog Brown and Kenny "Blues Boss" Wayne. Next out of the gate was the ever so loveable Harpdog and Graham Guest. There set was another stellar show that highlighted the Dog's kick ass harp and Graham's killer piano playing with a heavy left hand.They had Jerry Cook join them on soprano Saxophone for a couple tunes near the end. It was a real treat to hear the guys do 2 songs from there newest album called "Naturally" that I wrote. The Dog always sings my songs the way I hear them in my head when I first write them. Thanks brother. And as the folks were warming up and starting to dance a bit, we got up and did the final set. It was the one and only Kenny "Blues Boss" Wayne and band which consisted of, A-Train on bass, Lorn Etkins on the traps, the ever so humble and talented Jerry "The Cookie Monster" Cook on tenor and Baritone Sax. What a man, what a toothpaste. I was on electric guitar this time around. I always love the guitar chair with Mr. Wayne, great fun tunes to play and Kenny is always so generous with dishing out air time to his band. Later on we were joined by Mr. Brown to add some Harmonica and the kid knocked the peeps socks off, as usual. For the final icing of the cake, Kenny called up Graham Guest for a double teaming of the 88 keys. Wowzers is all I can say, this was a boogie woogie smorgasbord to say the least. I was totally worn out just listening to these to killer ivory ticklers do there thing. Over all, this was another great and successful evening for The White Rock blues Society and Kenny, Dog and myself, not to mention the happy blues folks who came out, supported this event and made the night such a great evening. Thank you to all the volunteers who helped make this night run so smooth and the Pacific inn for the great venue once again. Long live the blues !
Photos by Dovey.
Well, we have talked about it for years now and are finally biting the bullet and doing it. Renovating our Whitehorse based recording studio (Blue-Star Studios). We wanted to rip off all the walls and the celling and re-insulate them from weather and sound proof them for obvious reasons. So we have now gutted the joint and have had the Plumber, Electrician and Carpenters all in there doing there thing. We are also moving our main control room for the original room to our drum room which is twice the size. We will now have room for a big couch and coffee table, disco ball and blow up doll right in our control room. The old room will now be a iso room for vocals, amps and anything else that needs it's own isolated room. The main room will now be the drum room and live band recording room. We have ripped out all the carpet and sub flooring and will now have the floor guy come in and lay down a wood floor. Oh this will be so much better for us and everyone who records with us. We're now looking at upgrading our gear and might go with a new protools set up. Were still working on all the details about that and I'll keep you posted. A big thank you to Ryan McNally who came over and helped us strip this room down. That kid really knows how to put his nose to the grindstone. The new studio should be up and running by May were hoping and we already have a line up to get in there. The Twisters have a new CD they want to finish off and I have the beginnings of a new solo CD I have to finish off, so the quicker we can get this done, the better.
Well, we sure had a ball at The White Rock Blues Societies new years party. It was a sold out show and you got to dance the night away, eat a fabulous meal and get a room in the hotel for a discount rate if you wanted. Keith (our bass player) always comes up with crazy ideas to make the show interesting and unforgettable, even if it's me that never forgets it. After our opening set we took a quick break and Keith told me his new idea. So I listened and then decided to try it out. So we got back on stage for our second set, played a few songs and then we started the count down...10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 - HAPPY NEW YEAR FOLKS! At this point we started kissing anything in site and kicked into a harmonica lead version of Auld Lang Syne. After that we played Bill Hailys birth of the boogie and we proceeded to swing like monkeys for a while. When the drum solo started, Keith and I jumped off stage and ran to our green room where our new years outfits were folded and waiting patiently on the table. 2 over sized diapers and black top hats. So we slipped out of our suits and put on our diapers. We then ran back out and joined the band on stage for the big ending of the song. We kept our new outfits on for a few tunes and then had a quick change into our suits again. It was a fun show with lots of great friends in the house. Thanks to Rod and all the folks from the White Rock Blues Society again for another great party and the continued support that allows us to make asses of ourselves for a living. All the best to all of you friends for the coming year. I'll post some picks of this show in the next day or so.
Saturday night, December 17th. The doors opened up at The Yukon Arts Centre. CBC was there recording for a special they will be airing on the radio in the near future, stay tuned for that. We had the fabulous Jessica Hall and Chris Rogers there with 3 high def cameras documenting the evening. I'll be posting some vid's when I get them edited up. I was back stage in the green room having a festive drinky with my brother Chris and Father Ed waiting to entertain the folks. When 8:00 came up, I got on stage and started into my first set. I did the first set solo and it seemed to run really smooth. It was really nice to play for all the people of Whitehorse in such a world class venue. The crowd was with me all the way. They were singing along and clapping and fun was had by all. After I finished a 1 hour set, I did some CD singing and then got ready for the next half with The Isaak Trio. It was a ball playing with pop's on the bass and Chris-p on the Cajon. It's real cool having my Dad knuckling down and playing the blues. It's harder and harder to get a bass player to play the bass. My brother played solid, and understated on his Cajon. In the middle of our set we had a very special guest join us on stage and she stole the show of course, my daughter Kiko. She informed me the night before that she was going to sing a Christmas song and we were to back her up. So we ran over the song once and that night Kiko was ready to perform. She smiled the whole time and wanted to end the song with a cha cha cha, so we did. After the show I'm sure she was signing more CD's than I was. Over all the show was a great success. It was sold out and it was standing room only. Kiko was a great merch girl along side the ever lovely Tara Graham. Thank you once again for the continued support Whitehorse and all the folks who come out to shows or buy the CD or even pop by the site and read the blogs. Much appreciated friends. Godspeed and all the best in the new year.
I had the best time last week on the last day of the Frostbite Music Festival held in Whitehorse, Yukon annually. I was scheduled to play my last workshop and it happened to be the one I was looking forward to the most. The Gospel workshop. It was held in The Yukon Arts Center a beautiful world class theater and the crown jewel of Yukon venues. I was set up to play with The Sojourners, Jim Byrnes, Steve Dawson and the Mississippi sheiks tribute backing band. It was such a treat to pass the vocal duties around and hear everybody's spiritual tunes. When we got to my turn, I was a bit nervous having to follow a classic Jim Byrnes secular tune. I asked The Sojourners to join me if they felt the spirit move them and after about 20 seconds I have 4 part harmony on an original of mine called Dresses For Heavan. It was such a thrill to hear these masterful black gospel singers singing with me on my own tune. The folks who were there all were totally impressed with the music and it was a religious experience for me to say the least. After the show The guys came over and told me they were interested in picking up one of my gospel tunes and they wanted to tour it and then record the song for there new album. I have since been dealing with their manager and making it happen. What a thrill for me and what a bunch of nice gentlemen. It really was an incredible afternoon.
I've been in the studio with my brother recording tracks for my soon to be released solo acoustic album. I still have bass on a couple of tunes and washboard, harmonica and foot percussion on a couple, but it's all acoustic guitars and songs written for such instruments. Anyway, we sure do have a good time working out all the details on these tracks. Chris, my brother is a master at coming up with the right sound and approach for a tune. It's really easy to create when you surround yourself with people like this. Having that kind of partner in the studio is invaluable, but someone who can write and structure songs like Chris, well it's a world unto itself. Bottom line is, there is no finer place for a musician to be (besides playing on live stage) than the recording studio. And if you are going to be in one making art, make sure you are surrounded by genius, friendly folk.
Well, it was a night I had been looking forward to for quite some time now. It was a solo acoustic performance at The Old Fire Hall on Main St. in Whitehorse, Yukon. I had been contacted by The Yukon Jazz Society to do a 1 hour show as part of their Jazz history series and I was honored to be asked. I have been doing these solo acoustic shows for a while now but never did one in my home town. It was a real good turn out and lots of friends came out for support. I played 45 min. all alone and had my good ol' buddy Dave Haddock get up and do the last 15 min. on the upright bass with me. I really had a fun night and from the feedback I am getting, it seems the show was well received by the public. I sure do enjoy doing these kind of shows. It's nice to just play what you want how you want and when you want. It really is a liberating experience and I'm excited to press on into the future with just me wee guitar on me knee. Next I will be doing a Acoustic Duo with local trad. bluesman, Ryan McNally at The Frostbite Music Festival. Really looking forward to that show as well and I'll fill you in on all the details on my next blog.