Gregory Alan Isakov may be playing at the Moab Folk Festival, but it’s not his first time in Moab.
“I was just there earlier this summer. I camped in my van,” he said. “I go there anytime I get a chance.”
The festival kicks off Friday evening, Nov. 1 and runs through Sunday, Nov. 3.
Isakov is just one of 12 artists slated to perform at this year’s festival. He recently released his third album “The Weatherman,” which debuted at No. 5 on Billboard’s Folk chart and No. 1 on the Mountain and Pacific Heatseekers Chart.
Isakov records his music in a studio in the small town of Nederland, Colo., where he has made his home. While music is becoming increasingly digitized, Isakov has mixed all his albums on analog tape.
“It just sort of happened,” Isakov said. “It wasn’t a direct decision.”
He said he enjoys the warmth of the sound of analog recordings.
“I love listening to vinyl records, records that are designed to be listened to all the way through,” he said. “I think that’s become inconvenient for people.”
Performing isn’t the only thing on Isakov’s agenda this weekend. He’s also hoping to relax and take in some of the other performances. “I love festivals,” he said. “You get to see so much music.”
Isakov said he normally plays late nights at bars. “You’re in and out, and if you’re lucky you might be able to catch a friend’s band,” he said. “I’ve been looking forward to the Moab festival in particular for a long time.”
Moab Folk Festival 2012 People’s Choice Award-winner, Ellis, will also be returning to Moab for the 2013 festival.
“It was really fun,” she said. “One of my favorite festivals.”
She finds the small, intimate atmosphere of the festival appealing.
“It’s small enough that you get to be in the community,” she said. “It all feels very cohesive. Very connecting.”
Ellis said she’s hoping this year’s festival experience will be just as exciting as 2012.
“Every time you do something, you carry with you what you’ve done before,” Ellis said. “I expect it to be different, but I kind of want it to be the same ... I think that this year might even be better.”
She also finds the landscape near Moab “inspiring.”
“I never get tried of seeing landscape that is inspiring,” she said. “I had never really been in the desert. It’s amazing to see how alive it is.”
Ellis has been performing full-time since 2000, and she’s eager to return to Moab.
“Thanks so much to the festival and the people for having me back,” she said. “I’m really excited.”
The festival’s evening concerts at Star Hall and the Grand County High School auditorium are sold out, but tickets are still available for the Nov. 2 and 3 afternoon concerts at the Center Street Ballpark, 200 East and Center Street.
Tickets may be purchased online at www.moabfolkfestival.com, by calling the festival office at 435-259-3198.