September 30, 2016
The Bridge, Santa Fe, NM
Photographer/Writer: Jake Cudek
Over the weekend, the patronage of the City Different doled out one of its typical practices upon the live music scene: low attendance. Walking into The Bridge as the opener completed, it was easy to see Santa Feans missed an opportunity to experience great musicianship with a turnout of less than 100 people.
Although this factor can lead to diminished performances, this was not the case for guitar extraordinaire Ian Moore and his backing band known as The Lossy Coils. With Moore on guitar, the band consists of Ben Jarrad on bass, Travis Foster on drums, and Greg Beshers on accompanying guitar. As expected from their talent, these gentlemen and their personal histories are nothing to scoff at. Jarrad and Foster are both graduates of the Berklee School of Music. Jarrad is deep in his groove and is often seen swinging the spectrum onstage, from eyes closed to ecstatic implementation, while laying down creative and appropriate lines to the tunes. Foster’s auditory presence is exuberant, while his visual presentation is controlled and attentive. Beshers poker faced playing is both dissonant and melodic and is often accentuated with Townsend-esque fanning of his axe as tunes ascend into the ethereal. As if the superb playing wasn’t enough, the vocal provisions of Jarrad and Beshers rounded out their qualifications as great collaborators to the effort. Although Moore is certainly the front man of this outfit, he warmly welcomes the contributions of his fellow band mates and encourages their outings, often seen by his migration across the stage to engage the band member being showcased, face to face, in high-octane musical exchange.
Moore who’s currently based out of Seattle, born from the south Texas music scene, this man delivers power in the form of composition, frenetic solos, and expansive and detailed story telling. Delivering a 15 song set filled with hard-edged, rocking originals spanning his career, Moore showed no signs of being deterred by the vacancies, but instead took the opportunity to expand his narrative with the audience, presenting longer renditions of some of his tales that are a cornerstone of his performance. These accounts covered his history of growing up and writing many of his songs in the mountains that surround Santa Fe, a fact that was unknown to many in the crowd. His anecdotes are linear and well thought out and carry an honest presence, each leading up with the history of the next number or his view of the modern world. This aspect lends credit to anyone who travels with the singer-songwriter moniker, and in the case of Moore, his name tag is adorned in all capitals.
As for the band, all seem to be having the time of their lives and spoke highly offstage of their personal relationships with each other and their commitment to music. At night’s end, Moore rewarded the faithful with a move out the guitar god handbook. Announcing the closer, “Closer”, the band started up the soft intro and a few bars into it, the production manager hurriedly approached the stage, letting them know that they were past curfew. Moore smiled and stated,” Sorry, man. Once we start the tune, we gotta play it” and unloaded an extended version to the appreciation of all.
Although he may not carry the same “popular” recognition of many of his counterparts of the genre, his take on it is nothing to overlook. He presents as a genuine individual, both on stage and off, and seems not to have fallen to the confines of guitar ego. As his tour consists of smaller venues and festivals, this aspect should not speak to the level of his craftsmanship, but instead, it should be revered as the rare opportunity to see someone pour out his heart, soul, and sweat on smaller stages with the colossal prowess that makes legends.