Country Jukebox Jury LP: Ian Munsick – Coyote Cry

Born in Wyoming and the son of a fiddle player, Ian moved to Nashville where he found success with the song Horses Are Faster. He calls his music a link between Chris LeDoux and Post Malone.

Long Haul is going to radio after Easter, so expect to hear more of the name Ian Munsick thanks to this song. Over a mix of some finger-picked acoustic, mandolin and slide guitar Ian sings how ‘I ain’t afraid of the slow burn’ and how some things, like love and stuff, take time. It’s a good introduction to Ian’s voice, which is the main ingredient here.

With light touches of production in the vocal, Ian sounds perfect for a Spotify playlist among many blokes in both the country and pop spheres. Sam Hunt may be the immediate contemporary, although he delivers the words in a higher register that really pops, even going to falsetto in places on opening track Solo. That track has banjo and fiddle on it, which locates it in country.

Ditto tracks two and three. Mountain Time (‘400 horses by the reins’) is a love song full of fiddle as Ian heads to the country because ‘I always find my way back to you…woo-hoo!’ It’s catchy too. The Mumfordy I See Country makes the same point with some well-worn markers – mama’s cooking, Dolly Parton, July 4, old dirt roads, front porches, banjos, whiskey – which are popular all the way across America. Perhaps this song appeals to people who will party to this song on Broadway in Nashville at their hen party. Ian told me that it’s a dominant 7th chord in the bridge, which you never hear in country music.  

Might Be Everything is my old school motto in song: Small Things Grow Peacefully. Ian illustrates how a humble beginning ‘might not be anything’ but could be it all. The second verse, predictably, is about love and stuff, with the nice line ‘picked a wildflower bouquet’. Come Home To You sounds like a Justin Bieber or John Legend tune with its triple-time feel. It’s awfully poppy.

The jaunty Humble (‘Ain’t afraid to rumble, a cowboy’s always humble’) namechecks old Chris LeDoux, while Like It Ain’t opens with a jukebox whirring into gear although the excellent production is very 2021. We get digital snaps, staccato guitar and a sonic bed which matches a lyric where Ian asks the lady to ‘be kind’ and tell lies about her new beau. I replayed it immediately.

She Was Right is a very produced song where it’s ‘too late’ for Ian to save the relationship with both digital cymbals and banjo and real fiddle. It’s what country music sounds like today and young audiences will go wild for it; it sounds like filler to me.

The quirky cover of Dreams by Fleetwood Mac is odd to hear from a male perspective, which proves Jon Pardi’s adage that it ain’t always the cowboy that rides away. In fact, Ian would be a perfect opening act for Pardi and everyone knows Dreams and can sing along with Ian’s smooth vocal. One foot in country, one foot in pop: he sees country fans everywhere.

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