Ian Moore swung through for his annual Holiday Bash again this year at OKC’s Blue Door. There was a brief attempt to try to calculate just how many years the quasi-tradition has achieved at this point, but ultimately Blue Door owner Greg Johnson and Moore decided how many didn’t really matter. What did matter was the gathering of friends, old and new, and the chance to share music and celebrate another year under our belts. Personally, this was my second year in attendance, and it’s a gathering I’ve come to look forward too.
Moore and multi-instrumentalist Kullen Fox delivered once again. Despite having just recovered from a bout of stomach flu, Ian Moore brought a small arsenal of guitars as well as his soulful delivery while Fox provided trumpet, mandolin, keys, xylophone and backing vocals. It’s amazing how much sound the two men can collectively create, and the results warmed the room. Since his debut in ’93, Moore has released some 15 releases, ranging from studio albums and live recordings to EPs such as his most recent “Toronto”. Tonight, things kicked off with the appropriately placed, “Beautiful Night”, followed by “Simple Girl”, “Angelyne” and a stunning “Blue Sky”. Another early treat included a new song debut, the recently penned, “My Relations”, complete with lyric boards and a robust accompaniment from the packed house.
Next, Ian brought up Kyle Nix (Turnpike Troubadours) up on stage to join the duo on fiddle for robust, (and jokingly admitted, unrehearsed) renditions of “Kangaroo Lake”, “Elephant Tears” and “Baltimore”. Definitely an unexpected highlight, and part of the magic that is the Blue Door. While Moore does this short tour each year through various venues, The Blue Door stop is the most intimate, and likely one of the most anticipated. The highlights were far from over though. As the set wound down, Moore heated up, providing a stripped down and highly memorable “Satisfied”, his ode to cannabis, “Cinnamon” and a blistering, slide fueled, resonator driven “Today”. Closing out the evening was another new song the bouncy “Down The Line”, which immediately seems like a song destined to become a setlist standard for Moore. It’s also a song that struck me as being a perfect fit for the next Willie Nelson album that’s undoubtedly already in the works.
By the time you read this, Moore’s short holiday tour will have likely wrapped up. Hopefully you were able to catch one of the dates, or will get the opportunity next year. If not, Moore will undoubtedly be back on the road again, perhaps supporting a new release in 2020. Be sure to check in at his website to keep up with all the news.