The Isaacs Say Being in a Family Band, Self-Producing an Album Takes Respect
Family gospel outfit the Isaacs are celebrating their second Grammy Awards nomination. Their 2018 release, Favorites: Revisited by Request, is up for Best Roots Gospel Album at the 2019 Grammy Awards.
A Tennessee-based family outfit -- they even started their own record label, Isaacs House, in recent years -- the Isaacs exhibit bold group harmonies and punch-perfect production in all of their work, especially on Favorites. It's an album on which they got to call the shots completely: Beyond writing and performing, the Isaacs collectively produced the project.
"The thing about that that is the best is that we can kind of dictate the songs we want to do and have more control of the style we wanna go," Becky Isaacs told The Boot on the red carpet of the Nashville Grammy Awards nominees party in January, "and we had found that it’s a little bit more pleasing for fans in ways because we know our audience. We sing to them every weekend.
"That’s the most rewarding part of that side of it," she continues. Adds Sonya Isaacs, "It feels really good, and there’s a lot of hard work behind the scenes that goes into these things."
They did have some help, though: Former NFL football player executive produced the project. The athlete released a handful of albums in the 1970s, '80s and early '90s.
"It takes a village," says mother Lily Isaacs.
Touring, recording, producing and performing with family, of course, isn't always easy, but the Isaacs have a system in place for success as both relatives and coworkers: "I’m their mother, but we’re partners," says Lily Isaacs. "So it takes a level of respect from one another to make it work. That’s the only way you can do it."
Ben Isaacs agrees: "We can be family through the week, but on the weekend we’re business partners," he says. "And that’s hard sometimes."
At the end of the day, though, the Isaacs know each other's limits. And if things don't work out so swimmingly, they know when to take a break.
"We have each other's back. When we’re recording, we know how to stretch each other and maybe pull something out someone else might not be able to pull out the same way. We know that, five minutes later, or a day later, we’re gonna hug it out," Sonya Isaacs says. "Sometimes it can get tense, and you just wanna grab a bag of Cheetos and go to the back of the bus."
As far as how it feels to have all that hard work pay off and lead to a Grammy nomination? "Amazing. Incredible," says Sonya Isaacs. "This is our second album in a row that was nominated for a Grammy. So we’re very honored and excited and equally surprised this time but so, so happy to be here."
The 2019 Grammy Awards will take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif., on Feb. 10. The televised ceremony will begin at 8PM ET on CBS; the pre-telecast Premiere Ceremony will be available to stream online earlier in the evening.
The Boot will be staying up late covering the most buzzed-about country winners, fashion and moments at the 2019 Grammy Awards. Readers can watch along with us by checking back to TheBoot.com for the latest Grammys headlines, liking The Boot on Facebook and following The Boot on Twitter.
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