This site includes the postings from the Irish Aires email list. This includes a listing of Irish/Celtic events in the Houston area and other information that the Irish Aires radio program posts.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Native Son Rocks the Duck Ian Moore’s New Day Native Son Rocks the Duck this Weekend Mark Williams Music Editor The darker side of Southern Rock is represented by Ian Moore -- a Texas native who made his rep in Austin’s early 90’s roots-rock soundscape with his debut album on Capricorn Records. While the record made Moore a new guitar hero, he modified that image on his follow-up, Modern Day Folklore, which showcased his growth as a singer- songscribe; but Moore’s third album apparently “confused Capricorn”, prompting the label to drop him. Moore didn’t take the bad news too hard, instead seeing the situation as artistic freedom, a chance to again modify his image. It’s easy to see why Capricorn was confused by Moore’s music, as he is an artist who often defies definition; while he conveniently fits into the forever growing Texas music genre, his sound actually gains more from the Beatles than Willie Nelson. “I consider it Southern Gothic, like Flannery O’Connor -- that whole creepy feeling with lots of shades and subtleties,” says Moore of his music. “It includes soul, gospel and Appalachian stuff, plus a lot of Celtic and Indian music.” Moore has a new label, the Americana and indie rockin’ Yep Roc Records, and a cool new CD, Luminaria -- a richly varied, deeply soulful affair that should free him once and for all from any lingering misperceptions or misconceptions of who he is as an artist. It’s only fitting that the making of the record was just as much a journey as everything else in Moore’s life. Because of his constant touring, different parts of Luminaria were conceived on the road: in the homes of friends, on days off, on the fly; paths crossed, drum parts were recorded here and there -- even old friends in faraway places showed up to make cameos, mainly bandmates with whom Moore has shared the stage over the years. “It’s a very natural record made by friends,” says Moore. “I made this album with pretty much everyone who’s played with me over the past six or seven years. It started in Austin with the Screen Door guys, then I took it to Seattle, and then on the road…” But while life on the road takes its toll, it also makes for great live shows. Moore consistently manages to reduce packed houses to stunned silence through the sheer power of his voice, his songwriting and the sheer emotion that he conveys; actually, because of his unwillingness to be defined by the industry, Moore has built up his following one show at a time; hearing is definitely believing. Ian Moore has vaulted himself near the head of the class with Luminaria -- a perfect fit for music lovers seeking a contemporary artist with a timeless musical sound, something of a new century Roy Orbison. While the songs of Luminaria offers an Americana travelogue, Moore’s greatest asset is his voice, which balances a deep calm with an aching urgency playing perfectly inside the surprisingly wide vocal range of a baritone -- never overreaching or settling into a comfortable rut. Luminaria has lots of appetizing choices for FM radio, but Moore’s finest moment comes on “New Day” -- a song that begins with quiet thoughts of getting out of bed, building to a wall of cool psychedelic guitar fuzz, thumping drums and trumpets straight out of “Penny Lane”; another album highlight, “Caroline” shifts from a weepy country-rock melody, falling into a newfangled waltz, complete with dub-style echo and keening, wordless vocals. Not all of the songs are that adventurous, but there’s not a bad track on Luminaria. An alternative weekly newspaper in his adopted hometown of Seattle calls Ian Moore a “stellar songwriter blessed with an absolutely stunning voice…(moving) foursquare into the circle of guitarist- songwriters like Richard Thompson, Curtis Mayfield, Jimi Hendrix and Jeff Buckley, where pop isn’t a dirty word and where music comes straight from the soul…” Check out Texas boy Ian Moore as he returns to his home turf on Saturday night to play McGonigel’s Mucky Duck (2425 Norfolk, Houston) with shows at 7:30 and 10PM; $15. 713-528-5999. Next Saturday night at the Duck, it’s the music of Sisters Morales… send your comments to
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