Ian Jeffreys

Ian Jeffreys performs at Dively’s Bar in Roxbury.

Local artist Ian Jeffreys sings and plays soul music.

He says Motown music and the late Jimi Hendrix are his greatest influences.

Jeffreys, who is white and says he has Mexican ancestors, inherited his love of music from his father.

“My favorite band was my father’s, called Trick Bag Soul,” he said. “They played Motown music.”

As Jeffreys came of age, he noticed his friends had different music taste.

“They listened to whatever was popular on the radio,” he said. “I preferred Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder.”

Jeffreys likes Gaye’s thought-provoking song “What’s Going On?” and the tunes of Wonder – specifically the classic “For Once in My Life.”

In the area of guitar-playing, Jeffreys idolizes Hendrix.

“He changed the sound of guitar-playing,” he said, “the overdrive sounds and music distortion.”

Overdrive and distortion are used to alter the sound of amplified electric musical instruments.

Looking into the biography of Hendrix, Jeffreys sees the importance of not being stagnant.

“Hendrix kept moving around the music scene,” he said. “He was always on the lookout for the next venue.”

The Ferndale resident has performed for Johnstown’s Taste & Tour, at People’s Natural Gas Park, The Village Street Music Festival, and he is scheduled to appear this summer at Lorain Borough’s Homegrown Music Festival.

He might perform songs he’s written. He said his song “Field Up Every Avenue” was inspired by FolkFest (now Cambria City Ethnic Fest) and the bands that lined the streets at the event.

Another of his songs, “Night Train,” Jeffreys said, “is about traveling to music shows, looking for a lifestyle out of music.”

Jeffreys hopes to perform at Nemacolin Resort, in Farmington, Fayette County.

In regards to a venue closer to home, he mentioned Sargent’s Stadium at the Point.

“I would love to sing the Star-Spangled Banner,” he said, “especially for AAABA – with my wife, Michelle, and daughter, Natalie, in the crowd.”

LaToya Bicko is a Johnstown freelance writer.

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