With his music, singer-songwriter Ian McFeron said he blurs the lines between classic and modern country. (Ian McFeron)

Ian McFeron Band to perform in Port Townsend

PORT TOWNSEND — Singer-songwriter Ian McFeron said his music blurs the lines between classic and modern country.

The Ian McFeron Band will perform from 5 to 8 tonight at Port Townsend Brewing, 330 10th St. The performance is part of an ongoing tour to promote the release of McFeron’s newest album, “Radio.”

There is no cover charge for Brewing customers to the 21-and-older concert.

McFeron will be joined on stage by longtime friends and musical accompanists Alisa Milner on fiddle, cello and harmony vocals; Moe Provencher on bass and harmony vocals; and Aimee Zoe Tubbs on drums and harmony vocals.

“Anything you create is going to be a blend of the things that you connect with in culture, as all that information percolates through your psyche — [filtering] down through your personal experiences and memories, and [floating] to the surface of your consciousness, repackaged and repurposed as a new creation,” said McFeron, 35, of Mountlake Terrace.

As a writer, “your creations are a new way of combining old things,” he continued.

“Culture and life experience provide the raw materials, and inspiration puts them together in a new way.”

McFeron said he grew up listening to Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Neil Young, The Band, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison and Jackson Browne.

He said he combines that influence with more modern acts such as the Gin Blossoms, Tracy Chapman, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Ryan Adams, Ray LaMontagne and Patty Griffin.

“All these sounds filter through you as a songwriter,” McFeron said.

“You pick up little musical pieces and learn about how these writers use language. You emulate when you’re young and you load up on all this music and all these words, and then you let that work through you until it’s all ready.

“And then, out of nowhere, new music starts coming [out] of your hands and your heart and your mouth,” he continued.

“That’s the musical diet I consumed, so that’s the stuff that my songs were made of once they were born years later.”

McFeron put that influence to work on“Radio,” he said, which was recorded in December 2014 at Studio G in East Nashville, Tenn. It is McFeron’s eighth full-length album.

“Radio” was produced by Grammy-nominated producer Doug Lancio, McFeron said.

In addition to Lancio — a guitarist — personnel on the album include pedal steel player Russ Pahl, drummer Marco Giovino, bassist Chris Donohue, pianist John Dedrick and harmony vocalist Alisa Milner.

McFeron has recorded with Lancio in the past, but this is the first album project together where Lancio produced, engineered and mixed from beginning to end, McFeron said.

The end result is an album featuring live performances of musicians playing together, McFeron said.

“As a general rule, we chose to value immediacy and character over perfection,” he said.

“That authenticity is what stands up best over time.”

The album release has “gone really well, and it marked a big step forward for us both creatively and in terms of the progression of our career both here and in Europe,” McFeron said.

“Radio” hits squarely in the modern Americana genre, McFeron said, “partly because many of the folks that performed with us on that record recorded many of the seminal records of the last 20 years that pioneered the Americana genre.”

As country drifted closer to rock and farther from the narrative style throughout the past several years, McFeron continued, many musicians “started returning to song-centered approaches to folk and country, and as they started recording and releasing this music they were labeled alt-country or Americana.”

The album “sort of combines an older, longer tradition of narrative singer-songwriter music with flourishes that have more of a modern pop-rock sound,” McFeron said.

“Mostly, I draw inspiration from American roots genres like folk, blues, old-school country, swing, rock ‘n’ roll, jazz and gospel,” he said.

”Although we play a lot of different musical styles, they all land somewhere in the traditions that evolved in America. I use those musical worlds to access and unlock my own memories and experiences and hope the songs that I write become a space for other folks to access their memories as well.”

McFeron continues to perform more than 180 shows per year and travels extensively throughout the country.

For more, call 360-385-9967 or visit www.ianmcferon.com.

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Features Editor Chris McDaniel can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56650, or at cmcdaniel@ peninsuladailynews.com.

 

The Ian McFeron Band will perform tonight at Port Townsend Brewing. (Ian McFeron)