Ian began playing folk music in clubs and on college campuses while he attended Guilford College. Later he performed as a singer-songwriter across the United States for ten years. In 1980, except for an occasional show, he set aside performing to have a family and organize a series of non-profit projects focused on creating a sustainable future. This included work with John Denver and the Windstar Foundation, then touring the Soviet Union in the late 1980's.
Ian returned to performing in 2002 while living on the Island of Kaua'i. Here he is playing James Taylor's Copperline on an early pilot of the Green Radio Bistro show which he co-produced and hosted for three years after returning home to Asheville, North Carolina. Today, with the climate project up and running, Ian is focusing again on songwriting and is giving concerts and presentations to help build support for Climate Now.