Song Swap: Ian Mahan





Guitar and Piano

Rockford, IL

Denver, CO

A Colorado transplant from small-town Illinois, singer-songwriter Ian Mahan has spent the last decade writing and performing music for the sole purpose of connecting to his audience. His acoustic-style songs, with melodies ranging from mellow to upbeat, are marked by characteristic lyrical vulnerability.

Though he attended piano lessons from a young age, Ian did not find his true instrumental passion until his 18-year- old self picked up a guitar. Ian’s high school and college years were spent exploring music in the form of countless different bands, ultimately, establishing himself as a solo artist in 2008.

In 2011, Ian produced his first, self-titled EP with his drummer, band director and long-time friend, JD Raab. Four years later, Ian released “Tiger Lily,” his sophomore album which marries the singer-songwriter genre with pop-style, electronic elements.

Released in June 2017, Ian’s six-song EP, “Rockford,” showcases his evolving musical style grounded in emotional transparency and whispery acoustics. The album is a collection of curated songs that highlight life’s joys and miseries – inspired by breakups, Rocky Balboa and everything in between.

Ian has performed with notable artists such as Leon Bridges, Vanessa Carlton, Howie Day, Lisa Loeb, The Rocket Summer, Parachute, Stu Larsen, Tyler Hilton, Christina Perri, Lewis Watson, James McCartney, and Joe Brooks.

Bio excerpt from

10 Questions

1. What comes first, music or lyrics?
Usually lyrics. I try to sing them in a melody that I think of before I put music to them.

2. Who is one of your biggest influences yet your music sounds NOTHING like them?
Fall Out Boy

3. Favorite band name
Butch Walker

4. Go-to karaoke song
One Week by the Barenaked Ladies

5. Most moving musical experience (not one of your own shows)
The movie La Bamba. Long story.

6. You’ve been asked to sing the Star Spangled Banner at a major sporting event. Accept or Decline?

7. Craziest or funniest thing that ever happened at a gig?
I was once confused for a Glee Character.

8. What are you currently working on?
Recording some sync licensing songs!

9. Currently listening to?
Kacey Musgraves

10. Your next gig is playing a one-song concert for a world wide audience. Which of your songs would you play and why?
“Art & Vida”


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Friday’s 7-9pm

Join René Moffatt each Friday evening at The Molecule Effect (Wash Park) for original acoustic songs. Enjoy a wide selection of drinks and light fare. Get your 1960’s Greenwich Village vibe on.

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