Anyone who has followed Ian Moore's career knows he has been a shape-shifter of sorts. Never tied to any particular movement or genre for too long, he has dipped his creative fingers in blues, Beatlesque pop, country and folk inspired singer-songwriter fare and fiery guitar rock: sometimes all in the same album.
And although there always seems to be someone on the fringe calling for Moore to return to his "roots" in blues rock, he's insistent that he is being true to his native Austin roots with his musical explorations.
"That's what Austin is really all about and always has been, it's an eclectic city with a really diverse music scene," he explains. "Sure, country and blues is a part of that, but anyone who goes back and really follows the lineage of Willie Nelson will begin to see where people like me come from."
The free spirits of people like Nelson and Ray Wylie Hubbard continue to inform and inspire Moore to follow his creative muse in whatever direction it leads him. "I have to be eclectic," he proclaims openly. "I kind of feel like I have to keep people on their toes."
Fortunately, Moore has developed an incredibly loyal fan base that not only supports him in his vision and explorations, but has come to expect nothing less from him. As a result, it has allowed Moore to continue to evolve creatively, even outside of the current conventions and business models of the music industry.
This past spring, Moore set off on his own path, releasing thirty songs over thirty days with an online distribution mode of his own. When asked how the package came together, Moore stated that "It all happened organically. Anyone who has followed me knows I'm a pretty eclectic songwriter. I had this big collection of songs, but they didn't all fit together or seem to fit what I'm doing with the Lossy Coils (his band) right now."
"I was just thinking what the hell am I going to do with these songs and I had this idea. Because I have a loyal, almost cult like fan base, I thought it might just work."
That plan was to do a subscription plan that saw Moore release a new song on a daily basis with the communication lines open for subscribing fans to give their feedback and input to the songs, many of which were still germinating and developing. Moore admits that many won't see the light of day outside of the program, while others will likely continue to evolve and show up on albums and in live shows in the future.
COURTESY FELICIA GRAHAM
"It was really cool and worked well because a lot of people signed up for the subscription," Moore shared, "but roughly 25 percent of those people emailed me daily with their input, so I got a really great response, and we'll probably be playing about three of those songs on this current tour."
That tour brings Moore and his band The Lossy Coils back to Tulsa for a show at The Vanguard this Sunday night, June 30th with Moore's longtime friend (and Tulsa protégé) Dustin Pittsley opening the show.
Of course, Moore has always held a special place in Tulsa, as the city has largely embraced him as one of its own. In turn, Tulsa is a special place for Moore as well.
"I feel like my connection with Tulsa is much the same as it is with Austin," he told me last week. "Back in the '70s, there was this community of musicians that all fed off of each other with this eclectic spirit, with Leon Russell and JJ Cale and all of those guys, much like what was going on in Austin. When I hang out with Dustin and Jesse, that's what we talk about."
"Tulsa still feels like that," he continued. "There's some punk and indie stuff going on, but there's still a sense of community between musicians and it still has a regional feel that sets it all apart from the rest."
Perhaps what he likes best is the WYSIWYG nature of our city.
"Tulsa's a pretty no-bullshit, town and I can appreciate that," Moore reflected. "It's cool because Tulsa is still pretty genuine and honest musically."
Moore's career has gone in many directions, with his solo material being some of his most eclectic. This time through town, however, he will be with the Lossy Coils.
"The Coils are a rock band, but there's more to it than that," he said. "There are so many more elements that go into it that are part of what I do, it's still really emotional and psychedelic, but it's primarily a rock band at the same time."
When asked what people can expect from the live show, which wraps up with shows in Oklahoma City on Saturday night and Tulsa on Sunday, Moore stated, "I'm trying to do my best to balance things out. I've got 10 albums' worth of music to draw from, so I try to play what people want to hear as well as what I think they need to hear."
Of course, that will also likely include a few new tunes and perhaps a preview of the direction Moore may go with the Lossy Coils on their next album. Mostly, though, it should be both a great night of music and documentation of sorts on how Moore has evolved musically over the years, from young blues rock, phenomenon into an eclectic and introspective songwriter who can write a stirring acoustic tune or still rock out. Fortunately, that evolution continues as Moore fleshes out his song ideas and prepares for the next chapter.
In the meantime, you can reconnect with one of Tulsa's favorite adopted sons when he returns to Tulsa this Sunday night with The Lossy Coils for a performance that will show both his rock side and his more introspective side -- and will most likely also display his affinity and connection to Tulsa's music scene as he shares the stage with Dustin Pittsley at Vanguard, 222 N. Main St. Tickets are still available for $15 in advance or $20 at the door and the show will start at 8pm.
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