Ian Munsick: Rocky Mountain Sound

Ian Munsick grew up in Wyoming, where the world revolves around cattle and horses. In the Munsick family, however, music holds almost as much importance as their herd.

“Since I was about 5 years old, music has been a huge part of my life,” he says.

A portrait of singer/songwriter Ian Munsick
Ian loves wearing colors and styles that are true to his cowboy background and musical sound. Photo by Kaycie Timm

Before heading out on his own as a singer/songwriter in Nashville, Ian made stage appearances alongside his musically talented family.

“My two older brothers and my dad all play music,” he shares. “We grew up playing together as the Munsick Boys. We played everything from Bob Wills to the Beatles.”

The Munsick Boys helped shape the unique Wyoming style Ian carried to Nashville.

“I moved to Nashville when I was 19 years old,” he says. “I didn’t really know what to do there. All I knew was that I wanted to play music because that’s all I’ve ever wanted.

When I left, my mom said, ‘You need to carry on what your brothers and your dad have inspired you to do because nobody else is going be doing what you’re doing.’”

A country music concert in San Diego
Ian draws inspiration from his dad and brothers, who are working cowboys. Growing up, he didn’t hear a lot of music that reflected their Rocky Mountain lifestyle. Photo by Aul Esparz

Ian also drew inspiration from the lifestyle that surrounded him throughout in his childhood. He’s made it his mission to display that Wyoming spirit through his music.

“Growing up on a ranch in Wyoming, the whole cowboy and Western lifestyle really plays into my music,” he explains. “That’s what I’m trying to do now—bring the West to the rest, baby.”

Nashville or Bust

Making a name in Nashville is no easy task—especially for a small-town boy from Wyoming. Despite the spectrum of influences in the city, Ian’s roots kept him planted in the traditional style he still sports today.

“Playing with my brothers and my dad, we would always wear Wrangler jeans, cowboy boots, belts, pearl snaps, a cowboy hat, and the bolo tie,” Ian shares. “That has always been a staple.”

That sharp cowboy style caught the eye of a certain lady in Nashville named Caroline, who later became Ian’s wife. Caroline’s skills as her husband’s co-manager and branding aficionado took Ian’s music to the next level.

“When I met my wife, Caroline, she really amplified everything, from the way I dress and my music to my brand and color scheme,” Ian says. “All the branding, everything that you see with your eyes, is all her.”

Together, the Munsicks have elevated the dream of bringing the West to modern country music. As Ian continues to gain popularity, he’s stayed true to his roots from his style to the music he sings.

“Caroline has been a huge help in making sure I stay true to me,” Ian says. “She did a great job of choosing the oranges and the turquoise and kind of the Native American/cowboy/Rocky Mountain feel all into my branding, and that’s exactly the kind of music that I make.”

Like the music, Ian’s cowboy style infuses modern elements, too, keeping him relevant in the ever-changing industry.

“I love the way I dress because it pays homage to my roots,” he shares. “But it also isn’t stuck in the roots. It can grow, which is really cool.”

It’s a Munsick Family Tradition

As Ian’s career blossomed in Nashville, Ian and Caroline welcomed the newest member of the Munsick family, son Crawford, in early 2020. Now, young Crawford frequently joins his dad on the road.

“He comes out on the road quite a bit, which I’m very, very blessed for,” says Ian. “Being away from them is the hardest part about being a country artist because you’re on the road 80 percent of the time.”

For Ian, including his family in his work serves as motivation to keep pushing through the ups and downs of the industry.

“Having them out [on the road] is awesome,” he shares. “I feel like the luckiest man in the world to have my wife, who’s my No. 1 rock, and she will go to battle for me all the time, and my little boy out there. Just trying to make him proud every day is awesome.”

Making Music

The success doesn’t come without a little elbow grease, though. Chasing a Nashville dream is enough to keep even a cowboy busy.

“Touring all the time, writing music all the time, and being a musician is a full-time job,” Munsick explains. “Being a cowboy is a full-time job, too. So being able to pay homage to the cowboys and cowgirls and bring a voice to them in the country music world has always been my goal.”

That goal has shaped Ian’s writing style and led to the creation of hits like “Long Live Cowgirls,” a duet with Cody Johnson, and “Humble,” which celebrates the cowboy spirit.

“My brothers and my dad are working cowboys, so I always have a lot of inspiration from them,” Ian reveals. “There’s not a lot of country artists from the Rocky Mountain region. Growing up there, I never heard anything on the radio that was the way that I was living. I’ve always had the inspiration to put the Rocky Mountains and Wyoming in particular on the map.”

Ian has gained plenty of experience in his pursuit of that dream, and he started writing songs long before he was performing on stage.

“I’ve been writing my own music since I was 8 years old,” he reveals. “What I love about it is being able to take other people’s ideas that they don’t even know they have.

“I’m always keeping my ear out,” he continues. “The titles are phrases I overhear and turn into songs.”

Country Music Gold

With every song he’s recorded, Ian has gained popularity that grants him the opportunity to write and perform with other artists he still calls his heroes.

“Cody Johnson was the first modern country artist I listened to that I could connect with,” he says. “Being able to go on tour with him and release ‘Long Live Cowgirls,’ and just call him a friend, has been a dream come true.”

In 2022, Ian also toured with Morgan Wallen shortly after Wallen’s release of his record-breaking double album Dangerous.

“Being out on the road with the biggest artist in country music was really, really cool,” Ian says. “He believes in my music, just like the world believes in his music.”

Ian Munsick performing in concert
In 2022, Ian Munsick toured with megastar Morgan Wallen, further expanding his reach to new audiences. Photo by Kaycie Timm

As his reach expands, Ian remains thankful for the cowboy comradery of the entire country music industry.

“The country music community has been super kind,” he shares. “All the artists that I’ve gotten to collaborate with or meet all respect what I’m trying to do. I think they know that if you stay true to your music, people are going to like it.”

Through it all, Ian’s pride in his roots and dedication to his dream remain strong.

“It’s proven to me that no matter where you’re from, no matter what you want to do with your life, you should do it, because anything is possible,” he states. “And in the words of Cody Johnson, if you’ve got a dream, chase it.”

The World’s Going Western

Following the release of his second full-length album, White Buffalo, on April 7, 2023, Ian and his team aren’t slowing down. And Ian is doing his part to bring the best of the West to the world through his music—and he’s not the only one.

“With the way country music is going right now—and pop culture in general—cowboys are making a comeback,” he says. “I think it’s very good not only for country music, but for America as a whole. Cowboys and cowgirls are what America is all about.”

As he looks to the future, Ian remains focused on sharing what he’s learned with others on similar paths. His best advice? Never lose sight of your roots.

“Always be true to you,” he advises. “Don’t let other people tell you who you should be or what kind of music to make, because at the end of the day, you’re always going to regret not doing your own thing. Even if you do your own thing and it doesn’t work out, you’re never going to regret it because you stayed true to you.”

This article about Ian Munsick appeared in the Spring 2023 issue of Western Life Today magazine. Click here to subscribe!

Kaycie Timm

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