Chris Isaak is finally back in Ohio this week with shows at the Rose Music Center Tuesday July 12th and Hard Rock Live in Northfield Wednesday July 13th. Great tickets at a reasonable price are still available and I know because I bought some.
The first time I heard the song "Wicked Game" I was sitting alone at the Out R Inn bar in my hometown of Columbus, Ohio. Twenty seconds into the tune I was completely entranced and felt like I, too, was some sad character drinking the afternoon away in a David Lynch movie. On my request, the bartender played the song three or four times in a row. I tipped him well and immediately walked two blocks down the street to purchase my very own copy of Heart Shaped World at Used Kids Records. Or Johnny Go's. Or World Record..
Around that same time, Watershed was playing any gig we could get and eventually ended up landing a semi-regular gig at Rockafellas in Columbia, SC. Every six weeks or so, we would make the 10-hour drive through the night to Columbia so we could check into the Red Roof Inn on Two Notch Road and then sleep all day before the gig. I would usually take over driving somewhere along the West Virginia turnpike. As I piloted the van through the mountains in the darkness, Heart Shaped World and other Chris Isaak records became my personal soundtrack to I-77.
Those dark, lonely rides listening to Chris are still some of my favorite memories of playing in a band. I saw Chris play the Newport once around that time and was blown away. If you stopped in the coffee shop anytime in the year 1995, there is a good chance the record Forever Blue was playing. I swear I played it over and over for six straight months.
Eventually, I sort of burned out on Isaak and lost interest..
Until, we were camping on Lake Superior in September 1998 around a couple of shows Watershed was playing in Duluth, Minnesota. I had to find a record store because KISS was releasing Psycho Circus, their first original line-up record in 20 years. While waiting in line and taking the very last copy of the KISS record before a 12 year old kid could get it (sorry, kid) I noticed a new Chris Isaak record called Speak of the Devil and got that too.
Of course, I played the KISS record first and, of course, it pretty much sucked. For some reason I held off on playing the Isaak record for a few weeks or so. I guess I figured I had kind of heard the best of what Chris could do and didn't need anything new. Eventually, I got around to spinning it on another late night drive through Iowa or somewhere, and I fell in love all over again. God, I loved that record. I still do. Listen to this! Wanderin' from Speak of the Devil.
Anyway, there isn't much point to this other than to get on record I am a huge Chris Isaak fans and encourage everybody to check out his records. I'm driving up to catch him at the Hard Rock Live in Northfield tonight. Visit ChrisIsaak.com for all the info on his new record Here Comes the Night