Gregory Alan Isakov On Mountain Stage Farming by day and creating at night is the process that inspired Isakov's latest album, Evening Machines. Listen to the live set on Mountain Stage.
Graeson Baker/WVU Arts & Entertainment
Gregory Alan Isakov
Graeson Baker/WVU Arts & Entertainment

Mountain Stage

Gregory Alan Isakov On Mountain Stage

Gregory Alan Isakov On Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/703181887/703329345" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Gregory Alan Isakov was raised in Philadelphia and is now based in Colorado, but the sonically rich music he conceives doesn't sound like it's from any place in particular, except maybe the deep, dark soil of earth. It's an easy analogy to make, since Isakov has a glowing reputation both for his records, and as an organic farmer.

Farming by day and creating at night is the process that inspired Isakov's fourth album, Evening Machines, his first to be released with proper label support after years of releasing records on his own label. As host Larry Groce notes in his introduction, Evening Machines, is a beautifully textured record that rewards multiple listens.

In this Mountain Stage set, Isakov translates those textures with a band comprised of the core musicians who appear on the record: Steve Varney on banjo, Philip Parker on cello and keys, John Grigsby on bass, Jeb Bows on fiddle and Max Barcelow on drums.

"It's really cool to be on the radio in front of you guys. We don't get played on the radio very much," Isakov says between songs, adding that he's heard the band receives airplay in yoga studios. "I have a friend who runs a pre-school and she plays us during nap time," he noted, grinning.

The band attempted to close its set with fan favorite "Amsterdam" from 2013's The Weatherman, but the ample crowd in Morgantown, W.Va. applauded for an encore. Isakov and company returned to the stage and gathered around a single microphone for a rendering of "All Shades of Blue" which wasn't included in the radio broadcast.

Set List:

  • "Southern Star"
  • "Chemicals"
  • "Time Will Tell" (from 2013's The Weatherman)
  • "Dark Dark Dark"
  • "Too Far Away"
  • "Amsterdam" (from 2013's The Weatherman)
  • "All Shades of Blue"* (from 2013's The Weatherman)

*Not included in the radio broadcast

[+] read more[-] less

More From Folk

Tomberlin performs at a Tiny Desk Concert on April 23, 2019 (Emily Bogle/NPR) Emily Bogle/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Emily Bogle/NPR

Tomberlin

Tomberlin is the daughter of a Baptist pastor, grew up singing in the church and, since her teens, has questioned her own beliefs in God and faith. Her songs are delicate and vulnerable.

Quinn Christopherson performs a Tiny Desk Contest on May 28, 2019 (Claire Harbage/NPR). Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Quinn Christopherson

Quinn and his musical partner, guitarist and singer Nick Carpenter, arrived from the cool of Anchorage to the swelter of D.C. and performed with remarkable confidence and grace.

The Devil Makes Three plays on Mountain Stage. Brian Blauser /Mountain Stage hide caption

toggle caption Brian Blauser /Mountain Stage

The Devil Makes Three On Mountain Stage

NPR Music

The Devil Makes Three creates music that is fun to dance to, but take a closer listen for the artistry behind the group's poetic and engaging storytelling.

The Devil Makes Three On Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/728586093/728680765" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Matt Nathanson Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage hide caption

toggle caption Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Matt Nathanson On Mountain Stage

West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Hear Matt Nathanson's three-song acoustic set. Each tune is fortified with tasty, hummable riffs that stick with you.

Matt Nathanson On Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/722057187/722077638" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

The Lone Bellow Brian Blauser /Mountain Stage hide caption

toggle caption Brian Blauser /Mountain Stage

The Lone Bellow On Mountain Stage

This set is book-ended by songs spanning the entirety of The Lone Bellow's career. Hear music from the group's self-titled debut and two songs from the band's 2018 acoustic EP, The Restless.

The Lone Bellow On Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/719148786/719161583" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Brian Blauser/Composite by Alexis Palmer/Mountain Stage

The Grateful Dead Tribute On Mountain Stage

In celebration of the Grateful Dead, hear these performances from Catherine Russell, Joan Osborne and Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams, live on Mountain Stage.

The Grateful Dead Tribute On Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/717096109/717146401" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Oh Pep! On Mountain Stage

Hear Oh Pep! perform songs on Mountain Stage with strong hooks fortifying the musical balance of pop and roots.

Oh Pep! On Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/714654069/714680813" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Karine Polwart Trio performs a Tiny Desk Concert on March 22, 2019 (Amr Alfiky/NPR). Amr Alfiky/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Amr Alfiky/NPR

Karine Polwart Trio

Scottish singer, songwriter and essayist Karine Polwart seldom comes stateside, eschewing air travel to reduce her carbon footprint. But on a rare, recent visit, she stopped in D.C. for a Tiny Desk.

Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Anaïs Mitchell On Mountain Stage

Every time Anaïs Mitchell performs on Mountain Stage, she embarks on new creative territory. For Mitchell, her 2007 song "Why We Build the Wall" has taken on a whole new meaning.

Anaïs Mitchell On Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/709654614/709862631" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Back To Top