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Moods: Mood: Upbeat Pop: Piano Moods: Solo Male Artist Rock: Modern Rock Pop: Pop/Rock

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Ian Ridenhour

Ian Ridenhour writes smart, piano-driven alternative rock music with pop sensibilities and a dark streak, or as Sav Buist of The Accidentals puts it: “like Jack White and Ben Folds had a baby.”

After establishing himself in North Dakota fronting his own band and playing with others like Tigirlily (winning a North Dakota Music Award at age 14), Ian moved to the Asheville, NC area, where he developed a devoted following. His first album, Quietly Making Noise, was followed in 2016 by Cry About It, a dark pop-rock tour de force that juxtaposes infectious hooks and complex arrangements with raw, real-life lyrics that engage with the psyche’s shadowy side. The video for “Dancing Children,” one of the two vanguard singles from Cry About It, won top honors at the 2017 Music Video Asheville Awards.

Ribcage, the new EP, is forthcoming in January 2018. Recorded at Echo Mountain Studios and produced by Nomatic Studio, the album features the talents of Jacob Rodriguez and Justin Ray (of Michael Buble), Asheville artist Brie Capone, and others. “You Help Me Fall Asleep,” the first single off the album, will be released on December 1, 2017 with an accompanying video produced by All Around Artsy.

Bolstered by his powerhouse band, Ian’s performances are, as the Mountain Xpress says, “dynamic, with hooky melodies, frenzied riffs, and kinetic, danceable energy.” As well as playing festivals across the southeast and headlining listening rooms in western North Carolina, Ian has shared the stage with The Accidentals, BJ Leiderman, The Blind Boys of Alabama, and Third Eye Blind, among others.

PopMatters says that Ian is “easily one the more diverse piano-centered rock acts of modern times,” which is perhaps what jazz legend Jimmy Cobb meant when he said of Ian, “in a couple of minutes, he’s gonna be a monster.”