Ian McFeron has included Hailey, Idaho, on his concert tours because he believes in his audiences.
"What I have always felt is that it's fun to travel and touring is fun, but if I add a city, I really want to commit to it," McFeron said.
McFeron returns to the Sun Valley Brewery in Hailey tonight at 8 p.m. to perform with his longtime friend Alisa Milner, a Texas-style fiddler, cellist and harmony vocalist. Milner will play fiddle and cello and McFeron will play guitar and keyboards.
McFeron said he is inspired by traditional American roots music, which includes jazz and folk, and he is lyrically oriented.
"The music is a serving plate for the stories," he said. "The roots music tradition has been a very good platform for storytelling."
Twice a year, McFeron and Milner tour the West Coast and Texas, and this spring they decided to do a three-month-long "pioneering" trip.
"It's exciting to us because there are so many places in the country to see, such as Nashville and Knoxville," he said.
McFeron formed his band six years ago after graduating from college and toured regionally.
"The process started out in my hometown of Shoreline, Wash., on the north Seattle border running up and down the I-5 corridor, and then I started to spread east," he said. "It's been an organic growth process."
Hailey is the second stop on the tour before the duo heads to Colorado. They will travel 16,000 miles to perform more than 70 shows in less than 90 days. McFeron will function as an independent record label, booking agency and management company.
"We are turning a corner," he said. "We have doubled the size of our usual spring tour. When you build an audience, over time you have a dedicated fan base."
McFeron said the buildup in a city gives him more name recognition, and allows him to handle and add more cities. He wants to return year after year to venues because he said he can see the cumulative response from the community.
McFeron said he would like to explore the possibilities of doing a two-week tour in Ireland or going to Nashville to network.
"I always try to keep pushing and stay on the road because that is where I feel most productive," he said. "It's a tough time for business in general, but applying creativity and living simply as possible, somehow it all comes out. I try and step out on the sturdiest limb I can find."
Sabina Dana Plasse: firstname.lastname@example.org