His songs are poetic reflections of life experiences and often explore adventurous spiritual courses. Admittedly a romantic, many of his lyrics describe emotional and sensual encounters. At the same time, just when you conclude that a song is about Michelangelo's first visit to scope out the project at the Sistine Chapel, you start to realize that, perhaps, this is also an artist's perception of entering the "chapel" of his/her audience. But then, again, it also hints at the intimate interaction of lovers. It is this multi-layering that has drawn fans to listen over and over again.
His love of life 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 more than his heart...
Highlights of his first three years...
2001 - Winner of the 2001 Minnesota Folk Festival New Folk Songwriting Contest
2002 - Nominee for the 2002 Minnesota Music Awards Song of the Year for "I Can't Take You Home" a duet with Becky Schlegel (From "Weightless" 2001)
2003 - Nominee for the 2003 Minnesota Music Awards Acoustic/Folk Recording of the Year for "The Threshold" (June, 2003)
He has shared the stage with the likes of Buddy Mondlock and Carol Elliott, John Gorka, Lynn Miles, Vance Gilbert, Christine Lavin, Rod Picott and Stacey Earle and Mark Stuart.
His first studio album, "Weightless", was released in December, 2001. His second, "The Threshold" was released in June, 2003. It was co-produced with Kevin Bowe and Dik Shopteau and includes guest performances by Bowe and Shopteau, Andy Dee, Noah Levy & Jeff Victor (Honey Dogs), Michelle Kinney (Natalie Merchant & Sheryl Crow) and others.
Isles has also developed a workshop called "The Creative Imagination" which explores the emotional and creative responses to the "worlds" that artists create.
Check out the artist's website:
1. The Hole in Our Town
2. September Sun
3. The Moon Comes Up
4. Sistine Chapel
5. If You Ever Need a Place
6. Better Move On
7. Big Girl Now
9. What Will You Do?
10. The Tables are Turning
11. True in You