Ingram Hill

Jan. 24 • Southgate House Parlour

Ingram Hill came nearly full circle with the release of last year’s Look Your Best. In many ways, the Memphis outfit went back to its roots on its third full-length album; the band returned to the Indie label world, leaving major label Hollywood to sign with grassroots Rock Ridge, and it hit the studio with Rick Beato, the producer on their first full-length, June’s Picture Show. It might have been the lackluster performance of its 2007 sophomore album, Cold as California, that led Ingram Hill back to the people and situations that initially propelled it to almost immediate stardom.

Vocalist/guitarist Justin Moore and guitarist Phil Bogard met in kindergarten, then played in a variety of teenage bands before doing the cover band circuit as University of Memphis students. Eventually the they added bassist Shea Sowell and drummer Matt Chambless, renamed themselves Ingram Hill and concentrated on original material. In 2002, Ingram Hill released its debut EP, Until Now — over half of the tracks were produced by Tonic frontman Emerson Hart — and sold 10,000 units at merch tables across the country.

The following year, the band recorded June’s Picture Show, intending to release it independently, but Hollywood heard the buzz and signed the band. The album spawned two hits, “Will I Ever Make It Home” and “Almost Perfect,” which cracked Billboard’s Top 25, and earned Ingram Hill opening slots with Maroon 5, Jonny Lang, Guster, Hanson and Better Than Ezra, among others.

With Cold as California, the band felt the label’s input diffused their focus, forcing it into an album that was not entirely its own. Shortly after completion, Sowell left the band. After leaving Hollywood and parting ways with Chambless (the band used a variety of drummers in the past two years), Moore and Bogard hired bassist Zach Kirk and began working on songs for Look Your Best. It turned out to be the right move; Look Your Best hit No. 12 on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart last fall, and Ingram Hill is back in the Indie Rock spotlight, where they belong.

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