An energetic and dynamic celebration of rhythm and lyrics.
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 cutting his teeth in the North Dakota music scene playing with bands like Tigirlily, Hex Radio, and Blind Mice (winning a North Dakota Music Award at age 14), Ian moved to the Asheville, NC area, where he quickly 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, recently won top honors at the 2017 Music Video Asheville Awards.
Bolstered by his crack 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.”