Heading West: Munsick’s music melting pot of styles

Heading West: Munsick’s music melting pot of styles

Ian Munsick admits he had some special blessings come his way this past year in the weird, distressing wrapping that was a global pandemic.

He had just recorded his debut album in 2019 and was preparing for its release, which was postponed until February of this year. He was navigating an involuntary break from touring and performing, but spent that time at home with his wife and newborn son. And the break gave him time to devote to writing, so he’s already sitting on enough new tunes for his next album.

“I understand why touring artists cut outside songs a lot more and why not all country artists are also writers, and that’s because just the time and energy that it takes is tough when you’re out on the road,” Munsick says. “Writing is usually one of the first things to go out the window when you’re on the road. So I just feel extremely lucky to have had all the time at home in 2020 to already get a head start on our next project and to spend a lot of quality time with my family.”

Adjusting to life with an infant, plus the downtime from the road, also helped Munsick shift his perspective on the actual process of writing, he shares.

“I know that the time I have to write now is a very sacred time,” he reflects. “I’m a lot more present now in whatever I’m doing, but especially when I’m writing, because I have to provide for my wife and my child. Before you have kids, you can kind of say, ‘Oh, I might write today,’ and then of course you don’t, and you’ll go hang out with your friends or go to the bar or do whatever. It’s not a big deal. But now I can’t afford to miss a day of writing because it’s an opportunity that I miss to provide — and to further my career.”

Becoming a father affected his vision for the actual content, too, he reveals.

“I know that he’ll be listening to my music probably in another two years, he’ll be able to kind of understand. And then in another eight years, he’ll be able to play it on his own. Then in another 20 years he’ll be saying, ‘That’s my dad, this is really cool,’ you know? Or, ‘It’s not cool, because it’s my dad,’ so we’ll see,” he says with a laugh. “That is kind of a mind blowing thing to think about, but it definitely inspires me even more to write the best music I can and to write music that is a positive inspiration to my listeners. I want him to learn from my example as a dad, because that’s really the most important thing in my life right now is just to be a good father and a good husband. And if I’m able to positively impact the world through my music, then that’s just really my goal.”

Wyoming singer/songwriter Ian Munsick is bringing a modern cowboy-western perspective to contemporary country music with his presence on the Nashville scene. Munsick’s debut album, “Coyote Cry,” dropped Feb. 26, and he visits Fort Smith for a June 18 performance at The Majestic. (Courtesy Photo)

Along with his “cow town” upbringing on a Wyoming ranch, Munsick points to myriad influences he pulls from in his music, seamlessly blended around a modern country western voice: the Beatles, fellow Wyoming singer/songwriter Chris LeDoux, hip-hop/grunge/country/R&B singer/songwriter Post Malone and hip-hop music in general — “I’m all over the place.” Experimenting with the “organic, acoustic sounds” of fiddles, mandolins and banjos, mixed with programmed drums, 808s (drum machines) and the intense drum and bass often found in hip-hop lead down an interesting road Munsick hadn’t heard many artists explore before.

“At the end of the day, music that I can close my eyes and it takes me back to Wyoming and the mountains and horses in the pasture is always the kind of nostalgia that I aim for,” he shares. “Combining those worlds with lyrics and soundscapes that take you to the Rocky Mountains and the West is always what I aim to do in my music.”


Ian Munsick

WHEN — 8:30 p.m. June 18

WHERE — The Majestic in Fort Smith

COST — $12-$15

INFO — 551-2424, majesticfortsmith.com, ianmunsick.com

BONUS — Corey Kent will also perform.

Categories: Music