I met Bill and Kate Isles just over a year ago at the 2009 Folk Alliance conference when I came into the showcase room they sponsored. I was there to listen to one of the musicians they were hosting and ended up staying to listen to them play instead of moving on to see whoever was next on my schedule. Bill and Kate are two of the nicest people I have ever met. We had never seen each other when I came into the room, but I was welcomed as though we had been friends forever. And indeed, after that brief encounter, we were great friends.
We decided on the spot that I would host them sooner or later. And now that time has come.
Bill’s songs are down-to-earth poetic reflections of life experiences and often explore adventurous metaphorical worlds. These worlds vary greatly in scope and texture such as the differences between the clever honky-tonk ambiguity of “The Hole in Our Town” and the enchanting feel of “Sistine Chapel”. Each of his compositions provides a spectrum of interpretation opportunities, as well, as demonstrated by “Sistine Chapel”. At first, you might conclude that the song is a first-person account of Michelangelo’s first visit to scope out the project at the Sistine Chapel, but you start to realize that, perhaps, this is also an artist’s perception of entering the “chapel” of his/her audience. Then, again, it also hints at the intimate interaction of lovers. The multiple layers of Bill’s story songs have drawn fans to listen over and over again, and to describe his live performances as “mesmerizing”.
His love of life and command of language has strong roots in his childhood, but his urgency to tell these stories comes from an experience in 1993 when, with just enough warning to drive himself to the hospital, his heart stopped beating. He arrived with just ten minutes to spare. After being defibrillated, and before the doctors had time to detect and open a blocked artery in his heart, he made a commitment to himself that, if he survived, he would begin to write again. Those paddles restarted his heart in more ways than one…
Kate was a closet singer/songwriter when she met Bill at the CD release party for his first CD, “Weightless.” She bought a CD and signed up on the mailing list. (“Grounds for marriage!”, quips Bill). Their relationship began soon afterwards with afternoon sessions with guitars, harmonies and coffee. They’ve been together ever since, marrying in May of 2004. While Bill initially toured solo, Bill and Kate are now a duo who sound like they’ve been together forever. Their album, “Matching Baggage” includes songs that they’ve co-written. The response has been very positive with many comments about the “perfect blend of two voices”. “I’m honored to hear such things,” said Kate, “it reflects the wonderful relationship that we’ve enjoyed.”
You will love their songs and harmonies – both are fine performers as well as writers. You will also be charmed by two of the nicest people I have ever met. Please join us for a wonderful evening!
Suggested artist donation $15
Music starts at 7:00 p.m. Socializing and potluck at 6:00 p.m.
Potluck wine and food to share are encouraged.
For more information, please contact Lee at 575-522-5197 or by e-mail at houseconcerts (at) comcast.net.