John Inghram Weaves 70s Rock Swagger into Americana on Self-Titled Debut (ALBUM REVIEW)

Photo credit: Sam Wiseman

On his self-titled debut, the go-to sideman John Inghram manages to weave a distinct 1970s rock swagger into his blend of Americana for a satisfyingly unique sound unlike any of his contemporaries 

Going on almost 20 years now, Inghram has served as a much in demand, producer, composer and bassist. He’s performed with jazz pianists, bluegrass mandolin players, and jam bands, as well as plenty of folk and Americana greats. But this nine-song self-titled record marks his first solo album, begging the question – what’s taken so long.

The album opener, “My Palisades,” is a laid back, organ-drenched number that perfectly spotlights Inghram’s deft ability to blend genres. He brings in Tim O’Brien to help with vocals and mandolin on “Back In The Goodle Day,” which brings a strong Cosmic Country vibe to the song adding to the eclectic appeal of the record.

“My whole career has been about serving other people, and other people’s music, and that is beautiful,” Inghram said recently about the album. “But there was some piece that I felt was missing as a creative. I needed to serve my own original music with the creation of this album.” 

“Here to Stay” is more of a steady, straight ahead rock track while the charmingly mellow “Underdog,” is backed by psychedelic guitar and an inspired decision to add in mellotron – an instrument more familiar to prog rock fans than the folk/Americana crowd. But the obvious highlight here is on the subtly brilliant “The Slow Burn,” lyrically and musically an impressive anthem about being there for someone.

The album, far from being a quick afterthought, was recorded at two different studios between 2020 and 2021 with Inghram producing. He recently admitted that he spent much of his 20’s strung out and partying, and a big part of making this record was convincing himself that “it’s not too late.” Across nine impressively diverse tracks he certainly proved he had the talent to back up his dream of taking center stage. Better late than never.

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