Gregory Alan Isakov.
Gregory Alan Isakov. (Courtesy Photo)

If you go

What: Gregory Alan Isakov and Nathaniel Rateliff

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Where: eTown Hall, 1535 Spruce St., Boulder

Cost: $27.50

More info: etown.org


Gregory Alan Isakov just wants to tend to his garden.

That's not a cheesy metaphor or creepy euphemism. The Colorado (by way of South Africa) singer-songwriter is just looking forward to some time off from touring, and he's making use of his schooling in horticulture to start a vegetable garden.

“I miss it, actually. I managed to farm for years in Lyons,” Isakov said. “I'm really excited to grow a garden and hang out and write. I'm excited about digging around in the dirt.”

He hasn't given up music or anything. It's just part of the cycle. Isakov and his band have been touring for months, playing nearly every night, and they've got five more weeks with singer-songwriter Josh Ritter before taking the summer off.

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“It's a really important part of the writing process for me – getting off the road and stepping back. I'm such an introvert, and when you're playing out all the time, it's challenging in a different way and exciting in a different way. We're moving around a lot. It's really important to just stop.”

Before that happens, he'll keep working on a recording of his performance with the Colorado Symphony, which he called one of the highlights of the last year. He hopes they'll release it later this year.

Isakov has also started writing new music for whatever the next project might be, and whenever it might come.

“I've been writing a lot of songs about space,” he said, laughing. “Not, like, sci-fi music or anything, but super ethereal kind of songs. I've been working in that realm for the winter so far. Then, also, I've been learning a lot of old time stuff, some banjo.”

Who knows where it will go, though. It's up in the air, and a summer of down time in the garden could change things. His last record, The Weatherman, was inspired by the “daily, mundane miracle” of predicting the future in the weather. It's mellow, introspective, dreamy and downright pretty.

“I go through these curiosities with writing,” Isakov said. “I think, with art, you're always trying to discover something new or find something new. You're trying to go in a new direction, but sometimes you're not. You can't really worry about it too much.”

There's still time to catch Isakov live before his break. The first opportunity will be at an eTown Live radio taping this Friday at eTown Hall, where he'll be joined by his good friend and fellow Coloradoan, Nathaniel Rateliff.