Ingram Hill

Old-School Rock Rawness With Modern Flair

Ingram Hill's straight-ahead approach has sent them from city to city playing bars, festivals and colleges. The band's unprocessed style combines old-school rock rawness with modern flair.

While mainstream rock seems to be giving way to boy/girl band pop, the band's lead guitarist Phil Bogard thinks rock will revive itself.

"It can make a comeback for sure," Bogard said. "All it will take is time. Popular music is a cycle. You start with what is mainstream and it gets taken to all levels more extreme. Eventually though, the extremities get a little ridiculous and something more stripped down, raw, and well-rooted surfaces."

This provides somewhat of a relief, he said.

Bogard pointed to the example of Nirvana and Pearl Jam surfacing from Seattle when metal was riding high.

Rock has influenced many of today's styles, he said.

He doesn't think the success of current emo, rap and other bands makes it tougher on rock groups, he said.

A group like the Black Crowes came in and prospered when glam rock, big hair and spandex were in, he said.

"I guess what I'm saying is that you can always slip a good rock band in any scene," Bogard said.

Ingram Hill's no-nonsense style is delivered with inventive melodies and tastefulness.

"Every member of the band came into this with different tastes in music," Bogard said.

The band's Influences include Elton John, Billy Joel, Frank Black, Ween and the Rolling Stones.

"So every member brings his own tastes and background to the band," Bogard said. "And, I think that it shows in the writing. There is no dominant instrument here. It's more about great songs than highlighting any particular player.

"Personally, I think that when I write a song I have people like Tom Petty in mind. Even if the song comes out sounding way different from that style with a full band behind it, I think that the best songs can be stripped down to just an acoustic guitar and a voice in kind of a folk manner."

The band has accomplished a lot, selling about 10,000 records independently. They hope to continue to trend.

"Our most recent accomplishments would have to be just continuing to push the goals that we started out with," Bogard said. "We are building live followings and markets all over the country. Our next goal is to make a great record around May."

Playing out regularly has been rewarding, Bogard said.

Over the next month, Ingram Hill will play in Oklahoma, Colorado, Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee and Arkansas.

"We are a melting pot of influence," he said. "Someone told me once that the only thing he ever learned from his own music is who his influences were. I think that playing together has put all these influences together to make a rock and roll stew. You can never be too diverse, and I think that if one sees us in a live show, he will see the diversity and the melting pot of influence."

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Josh Davidson

Josh Davidson has written music feature articles for Jersey Style and served as the Jersey Shore rock columnist for Steppin' Out Magazine. Other music writing credits include Aquarian Weekly, Jersey Beat, Backstreets and He has written free-lance for the Asbury Park Press' Community Sports section and has written featured articles for its news section, as well as covering campus news and sports weekly for the Signal, the College of New Jersey's (formerly Trenton State College) student newspaper. He has worked as a staff writer for The Independent, and his work for Greater Media Newspapers has also been published in the News Transcript. He is a former beat reporter for the Ocean County Observer who presently is a news writer for Symbolic Systems Inc. supporting the US Army's Knowledge Center. His music writing covers a vast range of topics, from the current cover band craze, highs and lows of the original scene, to the early days of the Jersey Shore rock scene in Asbury Park. He is also a musician, having written hundreds of songs as a singer/songwriter, and playing them out as a solo/acoustic artist. He has also played with cover bands, including It Doesn't Matter, and several original bands, including as the guitarist for the solo project of singer/songwriter Dave Eric. He continues to work on solo material and is presently the guitar player for Jersey Breeze.