Ian Ferguson - State of Gold - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Ian Ferguson - State of Gold

by Ljubinko Zivkovic Rating:8 Release Date:2019-07-26
Ian Ferguson - State of Gold
Ian Ferguson - State of Gold

When PR people and journalists put a tag on an emerging or a relatively unknown artist, it often turns out to be a big exaggeration. "Southern Duke of psych-rock" is a tag that comes with State of Gold, the debut album by Nashville DIY artist Ian Ferguson.

OK, the man is from Nashville, that is certainly the Southern US, but 'duke of psych-rock', and debut at that? Actually, even before State of Gold hit the speakers, some clues have started to filter out - Ferguson was touted by the likes of Alabama Shakes and it seems to have had noticeable live performances at Austin City Limits Music Festival, Lollapalooza, and Bonnaroo among other places.

Putting the album on and the moment the title tracks starts, another name, both South and psych-rock comes to mind - the late great Roky Erickson, both in the 13th Floor Elevators and solo incarnations. That is, in a combination with another not so southern man, Marc Bolan in his electric T. Rex version. Try "All My Days" here and you'll get the effect.

But, instead of turning his music into an imitation hodgepodge, mixing something that on the surface might not seem to work well together, Ferguson swings and slides through the nine tracks here with ease and aplomb of somebody who knows exactly what he's doing. Tracks like "I Do Not Mind" actually work as an excellent cocktail of Ferguson's main influences. All with that great Roky Erickson basement sound, which this time around turned to be the basement of Ian's mom, which he cites as an inspirational element.

What is also a big plus is that as a true DIY artist, Ferguson does absolutely everything on the album himself, all the instruments, all the vocals. I guess he also heard both of Paul McCartney and Ty Seagall, and he actually doesn't disappoint in that respect either. On the contrary. I guess for all those touted live performances he had to engage some really mean players. Judging based on the song on State of Gold, they had to be.

So, the matter whether Ferguson can be proclaimed as the duke of Southern psych-rock can be a bit premature, but he certainly is doing quite a bit to earn that title.

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