August 19, 2011
Dallas, TX USA
Review by Angie Ross
Photos by Jeff Jones
The Ian Moore Band returned to Dallas on Friday, August 19, for a sold-out performance at the Granada Theater. This show was the next to the last stop on the group's intimate, six-date tour promoting its long lost release, The First Third. Ironically, sharing the stage with the Austin-based artist was his original band from the early '90s that made the record including Bukka Allen on keyboards, Chris White on bass and drummer Michael Villegas. You could certainly sense, by watching these four perform on stage, that after all these years the chemistry between them was still there.
The crowd stood mesmerized as the band launched into "Today" off their last recording together, 1995' Modernday Folklore. The synchronized movements between the players as smooth, yet not so tight that it didn't allow each one to shine on there own. There were highlights galore during the set including a brilliant cover of Bob Marley's "No Woman, No Cry" and Muddy Waters "Champagne and Reefer". Moore recreated each and every note like it was something fresh and new his fingertips were attempting for the first time. Oftentimes his voice oozed out a rich smooth sound akin to warm syrup covering a pancake. The crowd was swallowed up in the moment time and time again.
This reunion tour of the original band was sparked last year when Moore opened his mail to find a copy of the band's never-released follow-up to Modernday Folklore, the 1996 recording, The First Third. The album fused rootsy rock with psychedelia and power pop that group's like Wilco and Gomez would duplicate with great success years later. According to Moore, when Phil Walden, the co-founder of their label Capricorn Records, first heard the new album, his negative reaction to the music created immediate tension. Moore and Walden argued to the point it ended in fisticuffs. The Ian Moore Band was dropped from Capricorn, and The First Third was thought to be lost.
As the group worked through its early catalog of songs, the guitarist retold the story of the album's odyssey the past 15 years and his surprise at its delivery. The audience seemed to hang on every word. Throughout the night, the four musicians covered a great deal of their early work together, as well as numbers from Moore's 2000 solo, And All the Colors. Their musicianship was spot on and the audience reveled in it. Ian Moore's guitar work was outstanding, particularly on "Deliver Me", "Muddy Jesus" and "Satisfied".
When the band had taken its final bows, it didn't seem like anyone wanted to leave. They had witnessed a special performance by an incredibly talented and gifted group. Who knows what the future of the Ian Moore Band would have been had it not been for that unfortunate encounter years ago. Tonight's glimpse back into the past certainly made one wonder. Regardless, it was a great night for music.