Presented by: The Point
Gregory Alan Isakov
153 Main Street
Burlington, VT, 05401
Doors 7:15 PM / Show 8:00 PM
Gregory Alan Isakov
$1 from each ticket sold for this show will support Seed Savers Exchange, a 44-year-old nonprofit doing the critical work of saving and sharing open-pollinated, heirloom, and organic seeds and plantsâputting healthy, fresh food in gardens and on tables today, and protecting the biodiversity of our seed supply for tomorrow.â
Many musicians have day jobs to make ends meet. However, few artists maintain the lifestyle kept by Gregory Alan Isakov. The Colorado-based indie-folk artist is a full-time farmer who sells vegetable seeds and grows various market crops on his three-acre farm, while also tending to a thriving musical career.
âI switch gears a lot,â he says. âI wake up really early in the growing season, and then in the winters, Iâm up all night. Iâm constantly moving back and forth.â
Isakov had an easier time balancing his two passions while making his fourth full-length studio album, Evening Machines. In between farm duties, the multi-instrumentalist wrote and recorded in a studio housed in a barn on his property. Like the farm, this studio has a communal atmosphere, filled with instruments and gear stored there by musician friendsâgear Isakov always leaves on, just in case inspiration strikes.
âSometimes I couldnât sleep, so Iâd walk into the studio and work really hard into the night,â he says. âA lot of times I would find myself in the light of all these VU meters and the tape machine glow, so thatâs where the title came from. I recorded mostly at night, when I wasnât working in the gardens. It doesnât matter if itâs summer or winter, morning or afternoon, this music always feels like evening to me.â
âWriting songs is this delicate balance,â Isakov says. âMy process has never been to start out saying, âI want to write a song about this. This is an important issueâor this is an important emotion that Iâm going throughâand I need to write a song about it.â That has never happened; itâs never been part of my process. But you need to have a spark of all those, something visceral and something tangible as well to make something that sings well. Words have so much power on their own.â
Isakovâs words especially have resonated deeply both at homeâhe recently sold out a Red Rocks Amphitheatre headlining showâand around the world. His last studio album of new material, 2013âs The Weatherman, sold over 100,000 copies, and his entire catalog has sold well over 370,000 copiesâan impressive amount for a musician who releases records via his own independent label, Suitcase Town Music.
With Evening Machines, Isakov is poised to reach an even larger audience, as itâs the first album heâs licensing to a larger record label, Dualtone. For the fiercely DIY musicianâin addition to housing a studio, the barn doubles as a storage and distribution hub for Suitcase Town Musicâlinking up with Dualtone âwasnât out of a place of need, but it was a place of curiosity,â he says. âI was like, âWell, Iâve never tried this. This could be really fun.ââ
But despite this label backing, Isakov isnât changing up his approach to music. Heâll still be touring around his farming seasonâand striving for a cohesive musical vision that feeds his soul. âMusic helped me get through some of the hardest times,â Isakov says. âI always write in regards to an entire record. Trying to find the music that fits together as a whole piece was the most important thing to me.â
It takes a mix of skill and luck to tend a garden well, but itâs impossible without a certain amount of kindness tended. While the cyclical nature of gardening seems inherent, in some ways, Heynderickx is just beginning. Her debut album, named I Need to Start a Garden out of a search for calm through these waves of uncertainty and upheaval, is out now via Mama Bird Recording Co.
For the empathetic singer/songwriter, the reasons for seeking such acceptance and
understanding stem from a life of paradoxes. Heynderickx grew up in a religious household in Oregon, closely identifying with her Filipino roots, but also straddling multiple cultural identities. Now residing in Portland, her faith is not overt, but her introspection and continued struggle for self-actualization are easily accessible and relatable. Likewise, the tracks on I Need to Start a Garden reflect these seemingly disparate elements. Through soft acoustic guitar picking and deftly accented trombone sighs, Heynderickxâs music immediately recalls folk music of the '60s and '70s mixed with a love of jazz radio. But Heynderickxâs singingâher vocals that range from sultry to operaticâbelie a tenacity in her soul.
Itâs a balance then, between exposing and protecting herself on I Need to Start a Garden. Heynderickx vacillates between powerlessness (opener âNo Faceâ) and empowerment (lead single "Oom Sha La La"). But her generosity of spirit remains the constant throughout the whole album. You can hear that exceptional care in âJoâ, as she whispers, âYou tended your garden like heaven and hell / and you built the birds houses to see if it helped at all.â Aware of the birds, the garden, and anyone listening acutely, Heynderickxâs music serves as an invitation for all to join her. Because the beauty of a garden is that, while itâs often started for deeply personal reasons, its bounty is best consumed and shared with others.
I Need to Start a Garden was produced, engineered and mixed by Zak Kimball at Nomah Studios in Portland, Oregon. Haley Heynderickx co-produced the album. It was mastered by Timothy Stollenwerk at Stereophonic Mastering in Portland. The record features Lily Breshears (Bass, Keys, Backing Vocals), Denzel Mendoza (Trombone, Backing Vocals), Phillip Rogers (Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals) and Tim Sweeney (Upright Bass).
$36 | $46 | $56 plus $3 day of show