Raised on the river, living on the road… With many miles in his memory, and many more in sight, Ian Fisher has become the archetypal ramblin’ songster he learned about from his father’s record player. Round and round and round he goes – where he stops…
Ian Fisher was raised in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, a town of 4,000 honest folks between Highway 61 and the Mississippi River. He remembers spending days on his grandfather’s farm and nights at the Dairy Queen. “There wasn’t much to do but pick up a guitar and write a song,” recounts Ian. The songs written in his Ste. Genevieve basement were about a world yet to be seen, a life waiting to be lived. “It didn’t take long for those songs to feel like lies,” Ian remembers. “I could write about whatever I wanted, but if it wasn’t honest, it wasn’t worth writing… or listening too, for that matter.” It was time to say goodbye to the fields and find some truth down the road.
Leaving Ste. Genevieve behind, Ian set out for the “big city” of St. Louis, where the residents’ dreams are like the many abandoned factories: oversized and decaying, but fertile soil for the creative few who choose to tend to them. He went looking for truth in books on politics and found it, but there was a hitch. “I found lots of truths in books, but not my own: other people’s truths.” Sure, that made for a better song than the ignorant musings of youth, but there was still no experience in those songs. And for that, there is only one place to turn: the road.
This go around, the road would lead somewhere different than just 50 miles up the Mississippi. Ian packed up his guitar case, got on a plane, and emigrated to Vienna, Austria. It was surreal. Being in Vienna, five thousand miles from his grandfather’s farm, Ian felt like he was home for the first time. It only took 24 hours for him to know that he would be spending much more time on this side of the ocean. Here was inspiration! Here was freedom! Here was the first place that Ian experienced who he truly was. “And I’ll be damned if the honest songs didn’t start to flow like the Danube itself.” All the same, this home away from home couldn’t last. It seems that something else had already become Ian’s home: the road.
In 2010, Ian traded his Viennese life for a short stint in New York City then a flat in Berlin, Germany, that would enable him to tour full time and he’s been counting train tracks ever since. After hundreds of concerts in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Denmark, the Netherlands, Ireland, and the U.S., seven self-released albums, and 953 songs (give or take a few), Ian has found a refrain. Like a dusty record, it spins endlessly: the road, the road, the road.
Ryan Thomas Carpenter – 2012 – Missouri