|October 30, 2003|
Dave 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 Guitar Workshop.
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 other influences.
“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 audiogrid.com
Original review is at: http://audiogrid.com/disaacs/
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