’90s Rocker Goes His Own Way

By Andrew Gilhooley / 411

If you listened to rock-oriented radio stations during the early 1990s, you may remember Ian Moore’s name in connection with hits like “Satisfied” and “Harlem.” These days, he more or less shuns the rock guitar-hero image, preferring to concentrate on simply playing his music and continuing to develop his style.

Born in the Bay Area, Moore is the son of a linguistics and Eastern studies scholar. As a result, he spent much of his early life traveling with his family moving between California, India and Mexico before finally settling in Austin, Texas. As a result, the young Moore was exposed to a whole world of musical styles and traditions. At age 5, he began playing sitar and at 6 the fiddle. By age 15, he had taken up the guitar and was shortly afterward hailed as a teenage guitar prodigy in Austin.

In 1992, Moore released his debut album “Ian Moore,” which catapulted him to rock stardom. Three Top 20 modern rock hits came from the album, leading to videos with rap star Ice Cube and tours as the opening act for artists such as ZZ Top, the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan. Moore’s debut was followed in 1994 by a live EP and then in 1995 by “Modernday Folklore.” ‘I‘he latter showed Moore’s songwriting and arranging beginning to veer away from the straight-ahead rock formula, incorporating strings, Dobro and horns as well as a variety of musical styles.

When it came to his third full-length album in 1997 Moore hit a roadblock with his record company as to the album’s style and content. He says: “My manager and my label president had a discussion, or rather, my manager listened to an hour tirade about how my talents had been put to waste, etc. We knew that we had made a solid record but were not surprised by his response.”

Moore was given an ultimatum: remake the album or leave the label. He chose to go independent and in 1998 released “Ian Moore’s Got The Green Grass” on his own label, Hablador Records. An eclectic collection of both originals and covers, it received great critical approval and enabled him to finally shed his early-’90s image.

Since then, Moore has released two more albums, including his latest work, “Via Satellite.”

Recorded live in Houston, the album features his band, Action Company The Austin Chronicle described the album as “both a document of Moore and his gifted band’s stagecraft, as well as a record of his songwriting talents to date. Either way you slice it, it’s a success.”

Moore has spent 2001 touring the United States and Europe with his rock band to promote “Via Satellite.” This coming Wednesday, he plays a solo acoustic show at Henflings in Ben Lomond. Join him there and see a different side of his music.

First published in “411”, The Salinas Californian, October 17, 2002

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