You might know Ian Leith as the Friendly Tap’s trusty BoozeDay Tuesday host, but he’s on a mission do more than just play good music. This Berwynite is passionate about the local music scene and hopes to bring attention to the incredible music offerings of the FoOakParkwny area.
How did you get started in music?
I began playing seriously at 13, but there were always guitars in my home. My mother sang mariachi music and she would play a little spanish guitar that I still play to this day. As I got older I would sneak into my brothers room to play his electric guitar and amp. He stopped getting mad at me when he heard me playing songs he liked by Aerosmith and Zep. I played metal with some friends but always made time to practice my acoustic fingerpicking chops.
I play guitar, bass and can keep a couple beats on drums, but give me a minute with any instrument and I’ll give you baa baa black sheep at least.
Who are your influences?
Daily minutiae of life like dreams, movies, books, family history, loss, fortune, sacred geometry, the serenity of balance. Oh, MUSICAL influences. I try not to mimic, but I find myself admiring and trying not to steal from artists like Paul Simon, Jose Gonzales, Norah Jones, Mike Patton, Tool, Rush, Police, Nick Drake, Josh Kauffman, Patrick Kevil, David Byrne, Danny Elfman… I better stop this could go on.
How do you describe your style?
My style….hmm my style. I lived in LA for a few years attempting to be a composer for film and TV, so I was always trying to write completely different songs to fit any scenario. I range from classical to rockabilly to folky to instrumental melancholia. I would say that finger-style guitar is a dominant attribute to my playing style, but I’m on an endless quest of possibilities with that formula.
What is your favorite part of performing?
When you play the exact right song for the exact right moment. It doesn’t happen that often, but when it does, it’s magic.
What is something surprising about you?
People might be surprised to learn that I am half-Scottish and half-Mexican. Or that I was almost an eagle scout.