Monday, February 17, 2014

Chris Isaak - AXS

by Bill Holmes

There was a concert on AXS TV on Sunday titled Raul Malo and Chris Isaak. It should have been titled Chris Isaak and a little bit of Raul Malo. The description of the program in the on-screen TV guide stated that Chris and Raul "join musical forces on stage to perform...". That wasn't true either. They appeared separately and it looked like different stages. Chris appeared with his usual band and performed several songs as well as banter with the audience for about 50 minutes. Raul appeared with a small ensemble of strings, an electric piano and performed two songs that finished the last 10 minutes of the show.

Despite the false advertising, it was a good show. I'm a fan of both artists. Chris Isaak is a fun performer. He has an above average voice, a good catalog of songs and a very tight band. You may not be familiar with Raul Malo. He is the lead singer of The Mavericks. He is also a songwriter and a very good guitar player. The Mavericks disbanded in 2004 but appear to be mostly back together since 2012. This particular performance was a solo one by Raul.

Chris Isaak 
Chris wore a gaudy suit, as usual. It was pink with yellow and black highlights. He has a little Elvis DNA in him. His playlist consisted of:

All of the Chris Isaak performed songs were written by him.  He's not just a fancy suit.

Raul's very short playlist consisted of: 
Raul Malo

Each of the songs listed above is a link to a performance of that song. Most are from YouTube and only two look like they are from the show I watched. That's OK. It gives you an example of the songs and how talented these guys are.

The copyright date on the program is 2012 and Chris mentioned PBS at one point so some of this might have aired there before. I have to think at least the Raul Malo segment is part of a longer program/concert. If you get AXS as part of your cable package, this program may be available free on-demand until March 31st. 

It's obviously a slapped together program and makes no sense musically. Chris did an upbeat set and Raul did two slow, mellow songs. That being said, there is not a bad performance in the bunch.

If you like music, it is always worth checking the AXS program schedule to see who or what is on. There is a lot of chaff but there is also a lot of wheat.

I give this very disjointed program a solid A. Two good performers singing good songs. What more do you want?


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