| Dave Isaac
October 30, 2003
Isaacs is a singer-songwriter-guitarist from Long
Island, NY. He has honed his chops through three
connected but different efforts. His Alt-Country band,
"Jackalope Junction" performs regularly in the NY
state area where Dave and company provide a good time
country dance sound. "Muzzlespeed" is a roots rock
band that has a harder edge. Dave also performs solo
gigs to a much larger area spanning a considerable
part of the US. Add all three together, you might
wonder how he has time to handle a base of guitar
students and being on the faculty of the National
His solo release, Prodigal Son, is still another
outlet for Dave's talented writing, singing, and
guitar performance. Dave is a classically trained
guitarist who has melded the technical expertise of
his past very structured musical study with the
originality, freedom and creativity of roots rock and
"Isabella" is the opening tune and a highlight as
well. This smoky earthy tune describes a girl who has
cast a magic spell over her beau. The interplay
between Dave's guitar and guest violinist, Peter Hyrka,
draws the listener in to the eerie story. Dave vocal
styling enhances this song by providing a conduit to
the emotion of the words.
"Never Giving Up" contrasts love with his woman to an
addition to cigarettes, nightlife, alcohol, and drugs.
It has a funky driving beat with Bob Stander's driving
bass line. This bluesy
tune features Dave's brilliant solo work and fills on
both acoustic and wah pedal melded electric guitar.
Joined by the expertise of pedal steel player, John
Widgren, Dave delivers a wonderful slow alt-country
tune in "Into Blue" with a brilliant play between his
guitar and the clever fills on pedal steel and a great
ending solo. John takes a mid-tune solo and shows off
the years of his playing with greats like Commander
Cody and The Lost Planet Airmen. Dave's voice is best
described as honest and real. In just a few bars, it
is like an old friend.
If I had to pick a song likely to get air play, I
would choose "The Moon". It is a unique driving
country rocker with a great refrain. It features some
of Dave's mandolin playing as backing accompaniment.
"Moment Of Grace" is a slow song with a message of
life's struggles with redemption in the end. Dave
tells the story with a light airy voice. His guitar
fills create a haunting backdrop for the story.
Dave's classical skills shine on the guitarist's
lament, "When I Die', as the lyrics request that the
guitarist be buried with his guitar.
Dave Isaacs is a treasure. You can hear samples of his
work here. I highly recommend giving Dave's new
release space in your CD player! ~ Steve Ekblad
Original review is at: http://audiogrid.com/disaacs/