Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Gregory Alan Isakov drew quite a crowd to Portland, Maine’s Thompson’s Point, for an unbelievable show ahead of the August 18th release of his 6th full-length studio album, Appaloosa Bones. (Get more info on the artist’s website.)
The 17-song set included a wide variety from his library that fans, both old and new, could appreciate. Gregory shared the stage with band members Jeb Bows on violin, Steve Varney on banjo, guitar and piano, Max Barcelow on drums, John Paul Grigsby on bass and Danny Black on guitar, keys and lap steel.
Josh Ritter warmed the crowd up with an energetic, strong set. Spectral Lines, his 11th album, was released earlier this year. Ritter had the most infectious grin plastered on his face from the moment he stepped on the stage until he took a bow and waved a farewell to thankful fans who were just treated to favorites, such as “Kathleen” and “Getting Ready to Get Down.”
Despite the troubling forecast, the rain held off for all but a few beautiful minutes while Gregory and his crew performed one of their most recognized songs, “The Stable Song.” While the appearance of rain at an outdoor concert would normally cause the crowd to cower, this refreshing shower on a hot summer night had the opposite effect. Looking around, I saw faces lit up with delight. It fit so perfectly with the wonderfully melancholic mood that I’m not entirely convinced it wasn’t somehow orchestrated by Gregory himself. He has released an album titled The Weatherman, after all.
Having attended several of his shows in the past, I excitedly awaited the encore, which is when the band members often abandon their separate spots on the stage and huddle around a single microphone. We were treated to three additional songs, including “Dandelion Wine,” “Amsterdam,” and “Appaloosa Bones”, the title track off the upcoming album. The delicious blend of poetic lyrics, unbelievably harmonious vocals and stunning lights made for a truly unforgettable evening.
*Please read this by the light of the moon (No, “Words” was not played, but that can’t keep me from making a silly reference to it!)
Gregory Alan Isakov releases his new album, Appaloosa Bones, on August 18th, and you can pre-order your copy here.