Rockin’ Out On The Chris Isaak Hour

Forget Oprah – the newest talk show host in town is Chris Isaak. The singer-songwriter is going to do more than just talk on his show.  The plan calls for guest artists performing five or six songs and Isaak jamming along on a couple of the tunes.

Isaak and his guest also get comfy on a couch and talk music, covering everything from a Q and A session on biography and philosophy to a bit of music history, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Photo: Paul Parks
Viejas Concerts in the Park.

Isaak’s show, “The Chris Isaak Hour” debuted on the A&E/Biography channel Feb. 25 with a guest appearance by Trisha Yearwood. Additional guests lined up for the first season include Smashing Pumpkins, Stevie Nicks, Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens), Chicago, Glen Campbell and Michael Bublé, according to

The LA Times points out that “The Chris Isaak Hour” is similar to Elvis Costello’s show “Spectacle,” which premiered in December on the Sundance Channel, except that Costello’s show is filmed in front of an audience.

“They asked me early on if I wanted to bring in an audience, and I said no,” Isaak told the LA Times. “When you hire an audience, they’re not always the fans of that band. When you hire a generic audience, they’re hired to stay there all day. They don’t know the music, and it shows.

“I’d much rather have the band be able to get up and jam and just do their thing,” he said. “They can have a second take if they want. They don’t have to worry about how they look to an audience, so there’s a lot more freedom, performance-wise,” Isaak said.

Isaak isn’t exactly a newbie to TV since he previously hosted the sit-com “The Chris Isaak Show” on Showtime a few years back.

The LA Times writes that the show is “instantly seductive” and that Isaak is a natural on the show, from getting Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan to talk about things “he’s never opened up about before” to offering Yearwood homemade brownies from a recipe in her cookbook.

“With a show like this, you have a chance to relax in an environment that’s most sympathetic to the songs,” Islam said, according to the paper.

Isaak’s new album, Mr. Lucky, was released Feb. 24 to coincide with his new show.

He also has a couple of upcoming gigs on the books with a show at the Barossa Arts & Convention Centre in Tanunda, Australia, March 14 and at the Austin Music Hall in Austin, Texas, August 7.

Read the Los Angeles Times articles here, here and here.