Twang with an edge 

Jack Ingram and Sheryl Crow
Monday, June 12
Murat Centre
Tickets: or call 317-291-5151

There are songwriters who set aside time every day to put a pen to paper (or “write” on a computer). And there are others, like Jack Ingram, who have no such set time schedule for creative moments.

“A lot of my songwriting is spur of the moment,” Ingram pointed out during a recent interview. “There are times where I’ll have an idea, and the song starts flowing out of me. I get chills, thinking, ‘Hey, I’m onto something.’ Other times, nothing follows, so I go and watch cartoons.”

Ingram’s latest album, Live Wherever You Are, is a combination of studio and “in concert” tracks. There are three songs on the CD that Ingram wrote, and six that he co-wrote. The 35-year-old native of Houston, Texas, admitted that when it comes to songwriting with a partner there are different techniques involved.
“For the most part each guy I write with has a distinctive style. Jim Lauderdale will start humming a melody, and the lyrics come along afterwards. Todd [Snider] is one of my best friends. We’ll start talking about things, and end up writing a song.”

The song “Barbie Doll” is an Ingram/Snider collaboration that Ingram said is based on situations he’s witnessed from the stage at numerous clubs.

“I’d be up on stage, and see the guys get knocked down like dominoes by a ‘Barbie Doll,’” Ingram laughed. “That girl is also the one who always wants to get on stage and sing with the band.”

The studio tracks on Live bookend the CD, and are “love” songs, with different takes on that emotion: The title track is about a man who is going to search the world over to find the woman he loves, and misses. “Love You” is a song where the four-letter word in the title, and throughout the song, is used in place of another well-known four-letter declaration. Ingram recalled when he first heard a demo of “Love You.” “Trent [Summar, who co-wrote the song with Jay Knowles] played me that song, and I told him that I was going to cut it. A lot of times, humor in country songs is campy, but this song’s humor is definitely a bit different.”

Another song on this CD offers a tongue-in-cheek version of the “perfect” song for country music radio.

“I wrote ‘Happy Happy (country, country)’ a few years ago, and it was about the stage of my career at that time: I was trying to be successful in country music, but at the same time I was wondering, ‘What’s going on?’ I was watching CMT [Country Music Television] and came up with the idea for the song. It’s definitely a case of my being a smartass!”

In addition to this month’s tour with Sheryl Crow, the remainder of the year will be a busy time for Ingram and his band. “We have a pretty full July, and will be headlining shows through the fall. Then we’re supposed to do some shows with Gary Allan in December.

“There are a lot of good things going on for us right now. But you never know when things can change. In any case, I’ll be out there working, which is always good!”

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