Ian Ridenhour

Ian Ridenhour

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Solo Rock Pop




""Monsters" Video Premiere"

"There is a certain melodic flair to the man’s music that comes across as very pop-sensible, but without sacrificing any of the darkly, sometimes Burtonesque gloom of his overall musical persona. Even still, there’s a warmth and a kindness, there, too, and it all blends together to develop what is easily one of the more diverse piano-centered rock acts of modern times to uncover." - PopMatters

"Album review: 'Ribcage' EP by Ian Ridenhour"

"...is sharp-edged piano pop a la Ben Folds, with more than its share of subtlety. Ridenhour makes effective use of musical shade and light; he’s unafraid to take a cue from progressive rock, veering deftly between near-silent passages and loud, raucous bits. But he wraps it all inside a catchy melody." - Mountain XPress

"Part Brilliance, Part Torment, Ian Ridenhour Toes a Mental Tightrope to Create His Music"

"Ridenhour grew up listening to everything from choral music to Adele to metal, a span reflected in the album he made when he was just 14. Once he began grappling with his depression, his lyrics grew darker and more focused, yet his music retained a pop, upbeat sensibility.... Some might see a young Elton John or Billy Joel in Ridenhour...." - NPR: Blue Ridge Public Radio

"Ian Ridenhour releases a smart and sensitive new album"

Though the subject matter comes from tricky emotions and real talk, Ridenhour’s songs are far from downers. Instead, his writing is pop-savvy and smart; his performances are dynamic, with hooky melodies, frenzied riffs and kinetic, danceable energy. - Mountain XPress

"Smart Bets: Ian Ridenhour"

Before graduating from high school at age 14, Ian Ridenhour released his crowdfunded debut full-length album, Quietly Making Noise, alongside collaborators like NPR composer BJ Leiderman, musical peace purveyor David LaMotte and other “talented adults.” Now the young keyboardist, drummer, singer and composer is pursuing music full time, though he did recently put his drum sticks down to win $50,000 during Whiz Kids Week on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.” Those funds are earmarked for a new album, Cry About It, which Ridenhour is recording at Asheville’s Nomatic Studio, plus two music videos led by local youth filmmaker Kira Bursky. Her crew will capture additional live footage of Ridenhour during his 16th birthday party performance with Leiderman, LaMotte and other special guests. The show is at White Horse Black Mountain on Sunday, June 19, at 7 p.m. $10/$12. - Mountain XPress

"TEDx Performance"

Ian was a featured performer at TEDx Bismarck in 2015, three weeks after he turned 15. - TEDx Bismarck


Quietly Making Noise (2014)

Cry About It (2016)

Ribcage (2018)

appears on:

The Other Way Around, by David LaMotte (2016)



Ian Ridenhour writes smart, piano-driven alternative rock music with pop sensibilities and a dark streak, or as Sav Buist of The Accidentals puts it: “like Jack White and Ben Folds had a baby.”

After establishing himself in North Dakota fronting his own band and playing with others like Tigirlily (winning a North Dakota Music Award at age 14), Ian moved to the Asheville, NC area, where he developed a devoted following. His first album, Quietly Making Noise, was followed in 2016 by Cry About It, a dark pop-rock tour de force that juxtaposes infectious hooks and complex arrangements with raw, real-life lyrics that engage with the psyche’s shadowy side. The video for “Dancing Children,” one of the two vanguard singles from Cry About It, won top honors at the 2017 Music Video Asheville Awards.

His EP Ribcage launched in 2018. Recorded at Echo Mountain Studios and produced by Nomatic Studio, the album features the talents of Jacob Rodriguez and Justin Ray (of Michael Buble), Asheville artist Brie Capone, and others. “You Help Me Fall Asleep,” the first single off the album, was released with an accompanying video produced by All Around Artsy.

Bolstered by his powerhouse band, Ian’s performances are, as the Mountain Xpress says, “dynamic, with hooky melodies, frenzied riffs, and kinetic, danceable energy.” As well as playing festivals across the southeast and headlining listening rooms in western North Carolina, Ian has shared the stage with The Accidentals, BJ Leiderman, The Blind Boys of Alabama, and Third Eye Blind, among others. He’s been described by former music manager Bob Hinkle as “[…] a 21st century Billy Joel.”

PopMatters says that Ian is “easily one the more diverse piano-centered rock acts of modern times,” which is perhaps what jazz legend Jimmy Cobb meant when he said of Ian, “in a couple of minutes, he’s gonna be a monster.”

Ian is currently a student at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.

Band Members