Brandon Isaak is no stranger to the Yukon music scene. Being a native of Whitehorse, the folk musician says he has performed 34,676 hometown shows.
“I’m still excited about every one as if it were my first,” he says.
Isaak has much to be excited about, as his new album, Here on Earth, is just being released.
On Saturday, April 12 there will be a CD release party at The Old Fire Hall, featuring performances by Isaak and Keith Picot.
“(It’s) a mixture of old traditional blues and swing music with some modern themes,” says Isaak of his music. “Way back, the blues and country music were the same thing; it was the people’s music. Over time the borders grew, blues and country went in different directions. A lot of what I play comes from that time when they were one.”
Isaak writes much of his own music and draws inspiration from love and spirituality.
“There is no getting around the story of love or the lack of it,” he says. “Woman-done-me-wrong or just a plain old fashioned love songs. That’s the main body of 90 per cent of music. I also have a strong interest in the spiritual side of things. I like to write about modern ways of thinking on religion and spirituality.”
When it comes to other genres of music, Isaak is open to experimentation.
“Both of my last records have some drum machine/modern hip hop elements on them, so I’m not afraid of modern music – as a matter of fact I embrace it,” Isaak says. “Wherever the wind blows me, I’ll go, but the blues will never leave me.”
And while the wind sometimes blows Isaak around the world, he makes sure to find a happy balance between work and family life with an eight-year-old daughter at home.
“Being a parent and a road warrior is a tricky bit of business,” he says. “When I get off a tour, it’s straight to reading before bed, brushing teeth, making lunch, walking to school with the dog, and so on. (I’m a) full-time daddy when I’m not on the road making a living.”
Aside from his solo work, Isaak also has a side project called The Silver Screen Scoundrels, in which he collaborates with Keith Picot.
They play music, while silent films they have created, run in the background.
“It’s like Much Music 1906,” he says. “It really is a cool thing and is catching on really well with the public. In the modern world you have to find something unique and original and have to have more than just music to entertain this crazy world of computers and multi tasking humans.”
The Here on Earth CD release party takes place at the Old Fire Hall in Whitehorse on April 12. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available through Dean’s Music Strings, and at the door.