Exclusive Interview with Guitar Legend Dave Isaacs

Culture, Music

How would you classify your overall music genre/style for your latest CD?

Bluesy rock meets singer-songwriter.

Who are some of your top musical influences?

Eric Clapton, Jerry Garcia, Dr. John, Lowell George/Little Feat, Donald Fagen/Steely Dan.

What would you like your fans and potential new listeners to take away from your music?

I like music that makes me listen, feel, and move all at the same time, and that’s what I want the listener to experience as well.

Tell us something really interesting about yourself that is not music related…

I was adopted as an infant and met both my birth parents in my 20s. Between my adoptive and blood families I could choose from several sets of roots, and I can’t help but feel that my musical taste and influences reflect a similarly blended melange.

What is the best concert you have ever been to that has truly inspired your live performances?

The Grateful Dead for musical diversity and conversational dynamics. Buddy Guy for sheer presence and joy in showmanship. Lyle Lovett and his Large Band for smoothness, virtuosity and polish.

What do you enjoy most about performing to a live audience?

No matter how experienced you are, having an audience always raises the stakes. It adds that little bit of edge that pushes me to places I don’t know I could get to otherwise. It’s part of why I love improvisation so much, because it adds the element of a high-wire act. Hitting your marks when you’re well-rehearsed is satisfying, but sticking a landing you didn’t plan to make is exhilarating.

Is there a song on your latest CD release that stands out as your personal favorite, and why?  

“I Like What I See” is really close to my heart, both in the music and the lyric itself. It’s one of the most personal songs I didn’t write the lyrics to myself. I’m really proud of my playing on it, too. I had that arrangement all worked out, and yet things happened in the studio we didn’t plan on. Predictably, those often become my favorite moments.

How have you evolved as an artist over the last year during these challenging times?

I’ve had more time to think about and pay attention to my own playing over the past 18 months than I’ve had for a long time. For years, if I had a guitar in my hand, it was for a purpose: teach a lesson, play a show, write a song. But for the first time in maybe 20 years I started just playing. I had also written a book in 2019 about learning music called The Perpetual Beginner, and I decided to take the time to become one myself. Literally, to practice what I preach, and so I went back and started playing classical guitar pieces I hadn’t touched since college. I had never rebuilt my chops in that style since my first hand injury 25 years ago, and I’m now playing better in many ways than I ever had. I wrote and released music in that style too, a solo guitar EP, in 2020, something I had always wanted to do. So I went into recording the Choogle album with a real sense of accomplishment and confidence that I think really comes across.

If you could meet, play a gig, co-write a song, have dinner, have a drink with any band or artist (dead or alive) who would it be?  

Jam with the Grateful Dead.

What are your ultimate goals for your original songs and your career as an artist? 

I write songs because it feels good to sing them, and perform because it feeds something in me. My goal has always been to have a life in music, whatever that looks like, and then each project comes with its own goals. So my ultimate goal going forward is to keep playing, writing, and performing, and for everything I do to feed my ability to keep doing it. Thank you so much for this interview and the opportunity!

FB:  facebook.com/dave.isaacs.121

Instagram: instagram.com/daveisaacsmusic

Main: https://www.nashvilleguitarguru.com/dave-isaacs-music/

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/1UDJsc5VctiSqPnUoe5f6Q

YouTube channel: youtube.com/daveisaacsmusic

End of Interview

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