Wednesday, November 28, 2018


Warm, that's the word for this one. Isaak and some of his favourite Vancouver pals holed up for an old-school play-along, using minimal studio effects, and just jamming like a band should. The album features 13 Isaak originals that feature a friendly vibe and classic styles. That includes acoustic picking and grinning, up to horn-driven soul jams like I Wanna Be Your Man. His Can't Do No Wrong features some great jazzy guitar by the man himself, grooving along with acoustic bass, drums and his own honkin' harp. It could be a '40's track except for the line "She smokes reefer just like Cheech & Chong."

Adept at bass, drums, dobro, harmonica and more, Isaak could have made this all himself, and did play lots of the parts, but much of the vibe is that group effort and fun approach. Joining him are local musicians he admires, such as Powder Blues' Jack Levin on bass, Twisters Chip Hart and Dave "Hurricane" Hoerl on drums and harmonica, and Willie MacCalder on piano. The songs are stars too, and Isaak has lots of fresh lyric ideas, classic blues themes but said in new ways. His PhD In The Blues name-checks the greats while coming over like a blues version of Little Feat's Rock and Roll Doctor. Best of all is that it comes across so inviting, proper and pleasing. That's the warm.

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