Born in California, musically educated in Texas, and now recording in Washington state, Ian Moore has been cranking out the tunes for nearly two decades.
Since being a part of Joe Ely’s touring band, he has constantly toured and recorded on his own. He has played and associated with the likes of Bob Dylan, Keith Richards, Paul Weller, Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, and Roky Erikson. Anyone who has backed Erikson and survived intact deserves an extended round of applause.
Moore’s sound has changed as his career has progressed. He began as a barroom musician and quickly evolved into one of the more underrated guitarists working today. His excursions into blues and rock were straight out of the Jimi Hendrix catalogue. He became known for both his solo acoustic performances and with a high throttle backing band, which allowed him to embark on extended solos.
His sound has been undergoing a change lately as he has progressed in a pop/rock direction. He is now producing more melodic music with vocal harmonies. His guitar virtuosity is still intact but now is more subtle as it is a part of the song’s structure. Every once in awhile he steps forward and cuts loose but in general is content to let the songs speak for themselves.
“Secondhand Stone” gets El Sonido Nuevo off to a rocking start. It is melodic, up-tempo, bordering on frenetic, guitar based rock. “Hillary Step” is emblematic of his new direction. It is a melodic and building song that can best be described as a power ballad. “Birds Of Prey” is another example of his melodic pop rock.
There are two tracks that cover the middle ground which is a good place for him to be. “Silver Sunshine” has nice harmonies but has room for him to provide some tasty guitar solos. “Let Me Out” is another track that lets him turn up his guitar sound.
Having said all of the above, the best track may be “Salt Mines,” which is a return to a rock/blues fusion sound. There is an ominous repetitiveness to it that reminds me of the old Delta blues. It is a great track that modernizes his early sound.
His backing band of the past six years has been the Lossy Coils. It features drummer Kyle Schneider and bassist Matt Harris, who co-wrote all of the album’s tracks with Moore. They provide a nice foundation for Moore to build his sound.
El Sonido Nuevo continues the evolution of Ian Moore. It takes talent and resolve to move in new directions and leave the comfort zone of the past behind. Ian Moore has both of those attributes.