Ian O’Neil (Deer Tick): 5 Albums That Changed My Life

Ian O’Neil (Deer Tick): 5 Albums That Changed My Life

Providence, Rhode Island-based band Deer Tick are out today (September 15) with not one, but two stellar new albums: Deer Tick Vol. 1 and Deer Tick Vol. 2.

Guitarist Ian O’Neil took some time out from the Americana Fest in Nashville, Tennessee, to chat about some records that made an impact on his life.

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Bob Dylan, The Times They are A-Changin’

That was the one that really got me into songwriting. It kind of made me realize that one instrument could sound bigger or as big as a 12-piece band or orchestra. A song like ‘Only a Pawn in Their Game’ felt bigger than most bands I’ve seen.

Leonard Cohen, Songs from a Room

I was kind of taken aback by how important words were becoming to me in music. You’re an idealistic 18-year-old. It’s you against the world. I think Leonard Cohen speaks to you.

The White Stripes, Get Behind Me Satan

That just kind of came to me in the summer after high school, I think. It was kind of just the soundtrack to that point in my life, and that introduced me to a lot of blues records.

Blind Willie McTell, Atlanta Twelve String

This record was my introduction, and the first record that I loved, to the blues. There was something ghostly about a song called ‘Pearly Gates’ that’s at the end of that album. That just kind of floored me and touched me in a really nice way.

Andrew Hill, Judgment!

The last one is an album called Judgment! by Andrew Hill, which is a Blue Note record. That kind of opened me up to improvisational music and the drumming on that record really kind of excited me. To this day, I still like to hear that record.


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