Ian Moore

Ian Moore

Ian Moore

Luminaria

Yep Roc

This one may be cause to revise my best of 2004 list. Ian Moore is a hotshot Texas blues-rock guitarist (now based in Seattle) and former Joe Ely sideman now transitioning to a second career as a soulful singer/songwriter. Luminaria has a bit of the blues, but a lot of country, pop, gospel and other sounds as well. It’s not guitar fireworks that impress here, but Moore’s versatile voice, the intimate yet majestic songscapes and his intriguing southern gothic lyrics.

Moore’s vocal and emotional range is evident on the first track, the evocative “What I’ve Done.” “And the road is a black ribbon/Through a pretty woman’s hair,” he sings. “Caroline” is an atmospheric piece that unexpectedly shifts into an upbeat break section and showcases a glorious falsetto over the course of seven minutes. Moore’s tenor is capable of a low Grant Lee Phillips-like rumble (as on “New Day”), but can also ascend and descend with the ease of Jeff Buckley (the spooky, slippery “Cinnamon”). “So your body is blushing like blood from a rose/It’s zipless and perfect like obsidian stone,” he sings on the latter.

A trio of songs form the heart of the record: “April,” with its catchy, easygoing chorus, the accordion-tinged “Kangaroo Lake” and the noir-ish, Chris Isaak-like “Abilene.” There’s also a little rapid-fire cowpunk on “Bastards” (he sounds a bit like Mick Jagger or perhaps Karl Wallinger of World Party here) and the more understated cello and trumpet shaded love song “Susan.” Oh yeah, and there’s a soaring pop song about the polar explorer Sir Robert Scott.

Luminaria is a record full of rich textures, emotionally resonant words and wonderful performances. Moore has left the blues behind in style, but the spirit of the blues elevates and informs these tales of rainy late night drives, changing times and lonely desolation. I get the feeling this record will be a favorite for a long time.

Ian Moore: www.ianmoore.com • Yeproc: www.yeproc.com

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Recently on Ink 19...

  • The Reading Room
    The Reading Room

    Today’s episode features author Anna-Marie O’Brien talking about her book Adventures of a Metalhead Librarian: A Rock N’ Roll Memoir with Ink 19’s Rose Petralia.

  • Bush Tetras
    Bush Tetras

    Rhythm and Paranoia (Wharf Cat). Review by Scott Adams.

  • Tom Tom Club
    Tom Tom Club

    The Good The Bad and the Funky (Nacional). Review by Julius C. Lacking.

  • Barnes & Barnes
    Barnes & Barnes

    Pancake Dream (Demented Punk Records). Review by Carl F. Gauze.

  • Jeremiah Lockwood
    Jeremiah Lockwood

    A Great Miracle: Jeremiah Lockwood’s Guitar Soli Chanukah Album (Reboot). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Metallica: The $24.95 Book
    Metallica: The $24.95 Book

    From an underground band that pioneered the thrash metal sound, to arguably the biggest rock act in the new millennium, Metallica has had a long and tumultuous history. Ben Apatoff scours a myriad of sources to catalog this history in his new book.

  • Araceli Lemos
    Araceli Lemos

    Shortly after AFI Fest 2021 wrapped, Generoso spoke at length with director, Araceli Lemos about her award-winning and potent feature debut, Holy Emy. Lemos’s film uses elements of body horror in her story about the exoticization of two Filipina sisters living in Greece and how that exploitation creates a distance between them.

  • Southern Accents 55
    Southern Accents 55

    A woofin’ good time with cuts from Hank Williams, Muddy Waters, Delta Moon and more from KMRD 96.9, Madrid, New Mexico!

  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
    Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

    Absurdism with a healthy dose of air conditioning.

  • Mixtape 172 :: My Old Bassist
    Mixtape 172 :: My Old Bassist

    Like pre-teens throwing every liquid into the kitchen blender and daring each other to drink the results, Woody and Jeremy fuse all manner of sounds legitimate and profane into some murky concoction that tastes surprisingly good.

From the Archives