It's Valentine's Day tomorrow. So it seems like a good time to feature a song called Saint Valentine, right?
Let's start here: My nephew Ben lives in Colorado. He runs marathons. He's an Iron Man. He has a serious mountain man beard. And he spends a good bit of time listening to, and introducing me to, really good music.
One of the singer-songwriters that Ben has introduced me to is Gregory Alan Isakov. Gregory Alan Isakov is originally from South Africa. He spent much of his youth in Philadelphia. And he moved to Colorado when he was 16.
One of the great music venues in the country is in Colorado. It's a place called Red Rocks Amphitheatre, which is in Denver. Ben goes there often. But I've never been there. It's on my music venue bucket list. And I hope to get out to Colorado soon, both to visit Ben and see a concert with him at Red Rocks.
The point here is that Gregory Alan Isakov has appeared at Red Rocks. Ben has seen him; I have not seen him. And I really don't know much about him. But, I've started listening to him recently. And he, simply put, is good. Seriously good. And seriously serious. He's not cut from the John Prine "funny guy" cloth. Rather he sings about serious topics and his songs have a melancholy feel. Sad. Maybe even depressing.
Gregory's latest album, released in mid-2016, is a collaboration with the Colorado Symphony. Yes, there are lots of strings in his new album, but it's not bluegrass. Nope. It's serious singer-songwriter angst. And one of the songs on the album (which also appears on his 2013 album called The Weatherman) is Saint Valentine. It's not your typical Valentine's Day song. I mean, with lyrics like, "you're the loneliest one, Saint Valentine; you're all fucked up, Saint Valentine," it's not really a Valentine's Day song at all. But, still, it's called Saint Valentine, and that's good enough for me.
So here it is: Song 31: Gregory Alan Isakov doing Saint Valentine.