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Wicked crooner rediscovers roots

Chris Isaak will perform classic 50s hits and his own chart toppers on Deniliquin's Blue & Roots Festival stage.

November 16, 2012 2:15pm

Crooning hits like Wicked Game, Please, Somebody’s Crying and Baby Did a Bad, Bad Thing shot American heart-throb Chris Isaak to fame.

Yet, after more than a quarter of a century into his career, Isaak says he’s finally created the album he’s always wanted to make ... and he’ll be in Deniliquin to perform his latest songs and greatest hits.

Beyond the Sun, Isaak’s first Vanguard Records release, is truly a labour of love.

Isaak admits to always being obsessed with the glory days of Memphis’ Sun Studio and the visionary artists like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis who got their starts there, all discovered and nurtured by the late, great Sun Records founder, Sam Phillips.

Now, at long last, Isaak has acted on this lifelong obsession, magically recapturing the transformative hepcat brilliance of the classic sides cut by these greats with Phillips during the mid-50s, while also getting down to the heart and soul of his own deeply rooted musical identity.

‘‘I did this because I love this music — that’s the entire reason,’’ Isaak said.

‘‘You gotta listen to the original ones — they’re classics — they’re awesome, but you can have fun with them.

‘‘These guys discovered this music for us and we had to rediscover it. There’s no way to do it exactly like they did it, so you’ve gotta give a little bit of your own take on it.’’

Isaak is joined on the record by his long-time band — bass player Rowland Salley and drummer Kenney Dale Johnson, guitarist Hershel Yatovitz, pianist Scott Plunkett, and percussionist Rafael Padilla. It is still to be determined which night — Easter Saturday or Sunday — Isaak and his band will perform in Deniliquin.

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