Scott Ibex smiles during a blues-infused set at The Narrows, May 30, 2019. (Ben Hohenstatt | Capital City Weekly)

Scott Ibex smiles during a blues-infused set at The Narrows, May 30, 2019. (Ben Hohenstatt | Capital City Weekly)

A guitar man comes to town

After a year off, artist wants to jump-start his art in Juneau

Gregg Allman doesn’t have much on Scott Ibex, at least where being a ramblin’ man is concerned.

Ibex is a prolific recording artist as well as a traveler, who is hoping to call Juneau home. He was born in New York and raised in New Jersey and has also resided in Moab, Utah, Dorland Mountain Arts Colony in California. He recently spent time in India, the Czech Republic and Nepal.

“I did a lot of work on my inner self,” Ibex told the Capital City Weekly. “I wanted to see who I was without a guitar.”

Prior to the yearlong, international journey, Ibex had released almost a dozen solo albums, toured nationally and started a long-running open mic in Utah.

[Behind the gridlock: Two arguments divide Senate on PFD]

Ibex said he was starting to feel burnt out and wanted to make a drastic change. He began selling off speakers and amplifiers from a sound equipment business he built up, and a plan started to form for a year of personal healing and retreat.

“You only need a few thousand dollars to get through the year over there,” he said referring to Nepal and India. “I just got lucky. My plane ticket cost like $500 bucks, and life over there is very affordable.”

During the year abroad, Ibex wasn’t spinning his wheels recording music, but he stayed busy.

He helped troubleshoot the Dalai Lama’s live sound system, studied yoga, Tibetan medicine, various types of massage, reiki, singing bowl healing therapy and cupping. Ibex leafed through a folder filled with copies of his certificates and a letter of endorsement as documentation of his eclectic efforts.

[I tried my first sound bath and was not disappointed]

During the year abroad, Ibex also met his fiancee, Jana, who moved with him to Juneau.

“I got his blessings,” Ibex said of his time with the Dalai Lama. “I was the only Westerner in the temple with him, and he bestowed blessings on everybody, and I like to think that’s why I fell in love with her.”

He gestured toward his future wife, who was with him at the temple, after that remark.

The two traveled to Juneau because Ibex said he had heard it would be good for his art. The pair’s long-term plan is to stay in Juneau, and Ibex said he hopes to play music and practice singing bowl healing in Juneau.

“I’m really happy that we came,” he said. “We’re going to begin our married life here, and rekindle my love for art.”

A guitar man comes to town

While the latter remains a work in progress, Ibex played his first Juneau show Thursday, May 30 at the Narrows and has a second lined up for 5 p.m. Friday, June 7 at Pier 49.

His music is a blend of genres with influences that run the gamut from Frank Zappa’s complex instrumental songs to more down-to-earth blues, folk and Americana.

[High school teacher turned full-time artist performs in Juneau]

Ibex’s show at the Narrows leaned into his more rootsy original compositions.

He said he views his Western style of music making as being similar to Eastern healing.

“I love the power that art has to inspire and to heal, and I believe that all different kinds of art have healing powers and inspiration powers, and they can do wonderful things for people,” Ibex said.

Know & Go

What: Scott Ibex performing original music.

When: 5 p.m., Friday, June 7

Where: Pier 49, 406 S. Franklin St.

Admission: Free.

• Contact arts and culture reporter Ben Hohenstatt at (907)523-2243 or Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.

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