Band Ingram Hill returns to the road with new album

Ingram Hill has just released their fourth studio album and performed at Jammin' Java on Thursday September 7 (Photo courtesy of Ingram Hill).
Ingram Hill has just released their fourth studio album and performed at Jammin' Java on Thursday September 7 (Photo courtesy of Ingram Hill).

This past Thursday, the Memphis-based band Ingram Hill played at Jammin' Java in Vienna,Va. Formed in the summer of 2000, the band has always considered itself meant for the road, "We love making records, but we’ve always been a touring band. It’s always been our bread and butter and our existence as a road band.” 

That’s how lead guitarist, Phil Bogard, from Ingram Hill describes the essence of their band. Friends since kindergarten, Boggard and lead vocalist Justin Moore began playing in a cover band along with their third band member Zach Kirk, where they played anywhere from frat parties and proms, and any gig they could get their hands on. The band performed a total of 200 shows during their first year.

The band’s name comes from Ingram Mill road, a roadside the band would pass coming home from performing at frat parties along Highway 78.Bogard described it as being a reminder of where the band started off.

They performed at Jammin’ Java to promote their self-titled album their fourth record. Ingram Hill has performed at Jammin’ Java in the past, and continues to come to the D.C. surrounding area to perform shows. Despite the backing of a major record label, the band continues to still make new records and tour. Jammin’ Java was one of several stops around the country as part of their 2012 fall tour.

Best known for their 2006 single, “Almost Perfect,” Ingram Hill has had to adapt to the changing music industry. Having previously recorded under a major record label, their newest album was entirely self-produced, mixed, edited, written, and partially self-financed by the band.

“There’s more creative control” Bogard stated over the phone. “Doing a record for a major label there are a lot of cooks in the kitchen.”

According to Boggard, Ingram Hill calls this album a “rebirth,” because “it’s moving closer to country and to what we were before and as the middle ground between pop and country today.”

However, the move to make the album themselves also stemmed from the lack of record sales facing the music industry. From the increase in accessible technology, to everyone trying to cut costs, “Now they’ve made it so attainable to reach a good sound at your house, while it’s still an expensive process, you can still do it at a lower cost than you could have previously. The whole music industry has become self-produced, recorded, and low budget,” Boggard said.

For their second album, “Cold in California,” Ingram Hill was signed under a major label. However, the same month that Ingram Hill was releasing their album, so was another band. Ingram Hill got shut out of publicity and marketing in favor of the other band. The event completely changed the band’s perception of major record labels. Now that they are independent, the band no longer tours with a tour bus but instead tours in a van. However, like any dynamic shift there are good and bad things that come along with it.

Ingram Hill’s experience represents the constant changes occurring in the music industry. With record sales dropping, the threat of teenagers illegally downloading music and artists having to have a presence on various social media outlets, it’s become harder for bands and musicians to stand out. Ingram Hill, uses their Youtube page to keep their fans engaged. The band has a cover of Katy Perry’s song, “I Kissed a Girl” and Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” garnering views of over 100,000, despite no backing from a major record label.

Bands such as Ingram Hill now have to maintain a personal relationship with fans, something that has changed in the advent of Twitter.

“It used to be almost like this persona of what it was supposed to be, more of an elusive thing,” Boggard said. “Everyone wants to now feel as if they know you personally because of social media where people want to know everything about you.”

Ingram Hill performed at Jammin’ Java on Thursday September 7.


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