Even in today’s digital age, many musicians continue to create CDs, perhaps in an effort to turn their creativity into a tangible object. Such is the case for Rochester musician Addison Israelson, who has released his inaugural CD, North Ridge.
“I really wanted to create something that was kind of an embodiment of a lot of different experiences I’ve had,” says Israelson. “I wanted to create something that was something physical…I wanted to be able to hold it in my hand and feel like I completed something.”
Israelson says something happened when he was younger he likens to when Tom Petty met Elvis Presley.
“I had an experience where I got to meet the bassist of REM. His name is Mike Mills. He just encouraged me to continue writing my own stuff,” says Israelson.
As a result, Israelson’s North Ridge was born.
The calming lyrics of the title track of the album trigger mental images of a traveler, trees, sunshine and the journeys ahead.
Israelson’s style features purposefully understated tones and hum-along rhythms and strikes a cadence reminiscent of Bob Dylan, but with a different lyrical style.
“I’ve been listening to Bob Dylan since I was a kid, studying his lyrical stylings,” Israelson says. “That has had an impact on the way I write songs, along with many other musicians.”
Isrealson gives a nod to the music of Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Neil Young and local musicians Joel Ward (finger picking, especially) and Jeremy Jewell (stage presence).
He also appreciates the music of the Driveway Truckers, which “is a direction I’d like to head, to write more story-based songs,” and local musician Tracy Sonnier, who Israelson credits with helping him not just expand songs but to find new ways to perform.
You can see Israelson perform at some Rochester open-mic nights, as well as at his own shows.