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“Guitar Guru” Dave Isaacs choogles down to the swamp with new EP
Dave Isaacs will tell you that he is a musician first and foremost, and a conversation with him makes that readily apparent. It also makes clear that he earned his title “Guitar Guru” honestly, in his obvious love for teaching and in the many songwriters and artists who have called him a mentor. .
On his new 7-song collection “Choogle”, Isaacs shows the other side of the sobriquet: this teacher CAN do. A seasoned performer, songwriter, and session musician, Dave spent the last ten years dedicated to his educational work and writing. But players need to play, and the slowdowns of 2020 brought time to return to his own music. First, a set of solo guitar instrumentals and accompanying illustrated score released as “5 Etudes”, and then the songs and relaxed recording sessions that culminated in the new EP.
From the alligator green of the cover to the deep grooves from the rhythm section, it’s apparent from the first note that we’re heading down to the swamp courtesy of bassist Jake Willemain and drummer Ed Simpson. The songs span a range of influences encompassing blues, rock, and soul, while Isaacs’ guitar stomps, sputters, skronks, and sings in counterpoint and commentary.
Rising Nashville blues-rock star Meg Williams joins on second guitar on “One More Step” for a spirited jam that evokes Little Feat and the Allman Brothers. “Down In The Swamp” and “Too Long” might bring CCR and ZZ Top to mind, while “Dodo and Crow” evokes the whimsical side of Steely Dan.