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“I was listening to all this stuff, hard country and soul music, but I didn’t put any of it together.It was only when I heard the Sun stuff that I had this 'wow’ moment that everyone in America must have had back in the Fifties. I couldn’t take my guitar and, with the two or three chords I knew, sound like Fleetwood Mac. It completed everything that I had listened to before.” With his long-term band, Isaak went back to the original Memphis studios where Phillips had patiently coaxed those extraordinary flashes of genius from his aspiring stars.
My generation was listening to the Beatles or the Stones and I’d be listening to Hank Williams or Ernest Stubbs.” Stumbling across the original Sun records was like an epiphany for him.People would say, 'You want to be Elvis’ and I would say, 'No’.” He says that while many of his songs may have written in the same spirit as those earlier records, there was “never a reference to pink Cadillacs or goin’ to the bop’.They were about my life, not about nostalgia.” Isaak admits, though, that he has always been a man out of time.It is funny for me, the dichotomy between what I sing and who I am.The heartbreak is real but sometimes I think I am just a very average, redneck guy.
For his 13th album, Beyond the Sun, Isaak revisits the legendary Sun Records years in Fifties rock and roll, when maverick radio producer Sam Phillips set up shop in the then musical backwater of Memphis, Tennessee, hoping to capture the real blues sound he had heard growing up in the south.