Colorado musician Gregory Alan Isakov is used to fronting rock bands — or singing alone with just his guitar. So he has to reach to describe the experience of performing his music backed by an entire symphony orchestra.
“It was fucking amazing,” he recalls, slowly and pointedly highlighting each word for extra emphasis. “I don’t even have words for it. It became this really big ocean of sound.”
Last year, Isakov released Gregory Alan Isakov with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, the string arrangements adding extra depth and grandeur to Isakov’s drowsy voice and contemporary acoustic-folk songwriting — a lush backdrop for his romantic and melancholy tableaus.
“I never thought that would happen,” he recalls. “I’ve always dreamed of that — one day playing with a symphony orchestra — but I never thought I’d ever get the chance to do it.”
Isakov, of course, can’t take an entire orchestra on tour, but he says some stringed instruments — a cello, violin and upright bass — will back him up when he comes through Eugene.
“We’ve simplified some of the symphony parts,” he says. And Isakov has already started working on a new record. “So we’ll be trying out some new songs.”
Gregory Alan Isakov plays with Seattle lo-fi singer/songwriter Sera Cahoone, known for her work with Band of Horses, and Carissa’s Wierd 8 pm Monday, May 1, at Hi-Fi Music Hall; $25 advance, $30 door, all-ages.