Album Stream: Ian Fisher, “Idle Hands”

Should you just leave if you want to arrive someday?

Ian Fisher has been asking this question since the day he left his rural Missouri farm for Europe. Ten years have passed since then, but never has the musician stayed in one place for more than a month. Vienna, Berlin, New York, Munich, Nashville… All just stations on an endless path. So it begins as a folk troubadour.

In search of an identity as a expatriate, country music became more and more a part of his musical security blanket, but eventually the limits of the genre couldn’t hold him anymore. With his new album Idle Hands, this American born and European raised world-citizen opens the barriers and confidently establishes himself as a modern songwriter with a classic touch.

Ian Fisher was schooled by his father’s record collection in the songwriting of the 1970’s, when diversity of style was the epitome of discipline and underneath each well written line was a well played groove. Bill Withers, Fleetwood Mac, and Jackson Browne are names that come to mind when listening to the warm composition and delivery of Idle Hands. This album, however, does not only look to the past for inspiration. Without the in?uence of modern groups like Timber Timbre, Jason Isbell, and Andy Shauf, this production’s contemporary sound would not have been possible.

The songs were recorded in a small East Berlin studio tucked between old Soviet apartment blocs. Fresh off of a month long tour through Italy, Fisher and his band (Andreas Laudwein / bass, Ryan Thomas Carpenter / keys, and Hanno Stick / drums) tracked their parts live together in one room. You can hear that they had plenty of time to get to know each other and the songs. How no individual musician leads. How all that truly leads is the song itself. The string arrangements of Cornelius Borgolte and the pedal steel guitar of Ollie Samland make the sound complete. On top of it all, the timeless voice of the Danish singer Ida Wenøe dances from intimate accompaniments to soulful choirs. This mixture makes for an album that sounds immediate, varied, and lively at its core with delicate details surrounding it on all sides.

Today, Ghettoblaster has the pleasure of premiering the album. This is what Fisher had to say about it:

“I just wanted to make the best album I could and I feel like I did that. I borrowed from a lot of the styles that inspire me and mixed in my roots as a folk songwriter to create a record that I’m deeply proud of.  I’d like to thank all of my friends who helped make this album what it is. I definitely wasn’t alone and this wouldn’t have happened without them. It was a long process. It consumed the last year and a half of my life. Now it’s time to give it to the world and let it take on a life of its own.”

See Ian Fisher live here:

Aug. 30 – The Bluebird Cafe, Nashville, TN (USA)

Sep. 16 – Superfine, NYC (USA)

Oct. 5 – Hamburg, Nochtwache (Germany)

Oct. 6 – Berlin, Privatclub (Germany)

Oct. 7 – Köln, Die Wohngemeinschaft (Germany)

Oct. 8 – Köln, Die Wohngemeinschaft (Germany)

Oct. 10 – Nürnberg, MUZ (Germany)

Oct. 12 – München, Milla (Germany)

Oct. 13 – Dusseldorf, Tube Club (Germany)

Oct. 14 – Freiburg, Swamp (Germany)

Oct. 16 – Frankfurt, Brotfabrik (Germany)

Oct. 17 – Stuttgart, Cafe Galao (Germany)

Oct. 18 – Dachau, Kulturschranne (Germany)

Oct. 19 – Vienna, Haus der Musik (Austria)

Oct. 25 – Wattens, TBA (Austria)

Oct. 27 – Dornbirn, Spielboden (Austria)

Oct. 28 – St. Gallen, Bahnhof Bruggen (Switzerland)

Oct. 30 – Winterthur, Kraftfeld (Switzerland)

Oct. 31 – Luzern, Neubad (Switzerland)

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