See if Chris Isaak knows it’s Christmas in Lexington

The twangy rocker brings his new album, "Everybody Knows It's Christmas," to Carey Hall Nov. 25.

Chris Isaak. Courtesy Photo

Poor Chris Isaak. Thirty years later and still, the first thing people think of when his name comes up is his video for “Wicked Game,” filmed in sultry black-and-white by iconic fashion photographer Herb Ritts, and featuring much sandy frolicking between a tank-top-sporting Isaak and nearly-naked Victoria’s Secret model Laetitia Casta. It was all very ’90s, but not really representative of Chris’s body of work (so to speak).

While the echoey noir-rock represented by “Wicked Game” is certainly a big part of his repertoire, he’s just as comfortable around a hot rockabilly lick or a falsetto ballad. (Or a flat-out classic cover, be it Elvis, Roy Orbison, or Johnny Cash.)


And given the timing of his next local appearance — Nov. 25 at Carey Hall in Lexington — and the name of his brand new album — “Everybody Knows It’s Christmas” — it’s a safe bet that he’ll dip into the seasonal favorites this time around. While the new disc boasts such traditional numbers as “Oh Holy Night,” it’s classic holiday rockers like “Run Run Rudolph” and “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” that are most likely to turn up. (Not to mention selections from his previous holiday album, 2004’s aptly titled “Christmas.”)

Almost as important as the music at a Chris Isaak show, though, is the singer’s affable charm and, well, wicked sense of humor. (And we don’t just mean his sparkly, flowered suits, an affinity for which led him down the rock ’n’ roll path; he told an audience at The Cabot in Beverly in 2019 that “It was either this or figure skating.”) Isaak’s often self-deprecating comic monologues, delivered with expert timing no doubt honed on his early-2000s Showtime sitcom, “The Chris Isaak Show,” are an absolute highlight of his appearances.

And if you’re a longtime follower, you can probably also expect to hear your non-holiday favorites when Isaak takes the Cary Hall stage with his longtime band. “I’m a big fan of trying to make the people who show up for your show have a good time,” he told the Arizona Republic in 2018. How quaint! God bless us, everyone.

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