Ian McFeron broke into the Seattle music scene in 2003 with the release of his debut album, “Don’t Look Back.” Since then, he has churned out five more albums and is now bringing his tracks to San Marcos with faithful band-mate Alisa Milner.
His latest album, “Summer Nights,” was recorded in Nashville and produced by Patty Griffin’s long-time guitarist Doug Lancio. Milner, a Texas-style fiddler, cellist and harmony vocalist, along with bass player Norman Baker and drummer Mark Bateman, often join McFeron on stage.
McFeron and Milner will be playing two free shows Oct. 24 in San Marcos. The first will be at Triple Crown at 6 p.m. and the second at The Coffee Pot at 8:30.
“We opened a show for Hayes Carll at Cheatham Street Warehouse on our first tour here and we just loved the town,” McFeron said. “Austin is an exciting place, but San Marcos feels more like Texas to me.”
McFeron and Milner have been encircled by music since they were children. They said they both grew up playing instruments and falling in love with the sounds they created.
Ian started playing the piano and writing music early in life, but did it mostly for himself. Milner, on the other hand, was born into a musical family and began travelling and performing when she was 6 years old.
“My whole family played, including my two brothers. They played fiddle, and my dad played acoustic guitar,” Milner said. “My older brother started playing when he was five, and when he was eight and I was six, I remember telling my dad that I wanted to learn to play fiddle too. He said sure, and that’s how I started.”
McFeron and Milner attended the same high school, but teamed up after meeting through a mutual friend in college. They clicked and began to book shows together as a duo. From there, they picked up other players and formed a full band.
The Ian McFeron Band sent their new songs to local radio stations. One station in Seattle started playing their music. The break got them opening spots for big national names.
“I never thought this would turn into a career,” Milner said. “At one point though, Ian and I were playing and travelling more often, and we decided to go with music. We didn’t think we would get a chance like this again. So we put our whole lives into it.”
McFeron and Milner are now focusing on going back to basics. In the beginning of their career, it was just the duo. However, years later, they are visiting the familiar acoustic music scenes.
Their goal is to help tell a story and communicate emotions through music. For them, music is a release that takes the complicated issues in life and makes them more tangible and understandable.
“Writing new song brings so much excitement and charisma,” McFeron said. “I love connecting music with people and bringing a room together through song. It is about the moment you create with an audience.”