John Inghram is a musician’s musician. The kind of talent other musicians look up to and aspire to be like. His talents have allowed him to have his hands in many musical projects including a role in Mountain Stage. John sat down to answer some questions about his music and influences and the out of this world encounters that set him on the path to be a musician.
Check out John with his band and other acts, Lords of Lester, Corduroy Brown, Meadow Run, Evan Ferrell and A.M. Benson. Get your tickets for the September 9th show here: Robinson Grand
BB: Where in West Virginia do you come from and where does the band hail from?
BB: Who are some influences on your music and writing style?
Influenced by rock, R&B, jazz, funk, gospel, country, bluegrass and world music. My last record was heavy on the folk-rock side of things, but the latest material is leaning into a funkier, more danceable, and a little weirder, direction.
BB: How has being from West Virginia influenced your music?
I grew up around a lot of gospel, country, bluegrass and old-time music on my mother’s side. So in that regard Appalachian music has played a huge role in how I hear music. Not unlike many folks my age, my dad turned me on to bands like the Rolling Stones and Steely Dan. When you are hearing that music as child you can’t help but be influenced by it.
BB: What can people expect from your set?
We love to play songs that you might catch yourself singing on the way out of the theater, but we also love to jam and improvise. I have some of Appalachia’s finest improvisers and instrumentalists in the band.
BB: Who are some West Virginia artists you’re listening to?
Jazz pianist Bob Thompson (solo artist, Mountain Stage), Shelem (rapper/producer), Dinosaur Burps (hip hop), William Matheny (rock)
BB: What else are you listening to currently?
As far as newish stuff goes… latest records from Tyler Childers, Cass McCombs, Nas, Maya de Vitry, anything Kanika Moore is doing, Robert Glasper, William Matheny, Neal Francis, et al. I also enjoy hearing what my kids like and respond to.. I am always listening to new music because of my associate producer job at Mountain Stage as well. Which is nice because it helps me keep my finger on the pulse. Of course, I love older music too. Since Robbie Robertson passed away I have been revisiting The Band’s catalog pretty vigorously. Still blows my mind.
BB: What inspired you or took you down the path of music?
I knew from a very early age that I wanted to do this with my life. I first performed on stage at the age of 3. When I was 12 or 13 I had a “come to jesus” moment while listening to Neil Young on my Sony Discman while lying in bed ( I should have been sleeping!). I think I liked the purity and honesty that he brought to the table as a storyteller and songwriter, but really I was just overcome with how it made me feel. I remember saying out loud “I have to do for others what he is doing for me right now.” I wasnt analyzing it at that age. Only listening and letting the magic happen without inhibition.
I had many paranormal experiences as a child as well. Experiences with apparitions, interdimensional beings, extraterrestrials, also I had many recurring dreams with recurring characters, locations and themes. In retrospect I wonder if these may have been alternate or parallel universes. At times these dreams offered me a chance to communicate with people who know longer lived on earth. I saw a ufo outside my window not long after the Neil Young experience. I cannot, and do not care to, explain how, but I do have reason to believe that these things are all connected. I’ve heard rumor that clarvoyance and similar paranormal powers of the mind run in the side of my maternal family.
BB: One song you want people to listen to from your catalog if they were to say, “Hey what do you sound like?”
JI: “Little Mountain Mama”
Listen to Little Mountain Mama below and check out John Inghram at The Born & Bred Concert Series at The Robinson Grand Performing Arts Center on September 9th.