Carrie Ferguson

Carrie Ferguson grew up playing an enormous upright, chocolate-brown (to put it politely) piano inherited from the family of one of her father’s third-grade students. This piano, built from the parts of several old pianos by students in a local instrument-building workshop, had a darkly booming, slightly furry quality to it, not unlike the weather outside in her hometown of Arcata on the North Coast of California.  In order to write good music you had to play the way the instrument itself demanded, which to her ear meant sticking to the lower 2/3rds of the keyboard, and using plenty of rolling arpeggios and minor chords. Ferguson credits the stubborn and sonorous voice of her childhood piano, combined with the perpetual fog and exhilarating clamminess of coastal Northern California, as instilling in her the baseline aesthetic of melancholic optimism that still permeates her words and music today.

Currently based in Northampton, Ferguson’s original songs range from playfully jubilant and quirky, to soaring pop, country-tinged folk and straight up rock. Ferguson’s band, a rotating all-star squad of players from the Pioneer Valley,  uses a shifting palette of instruments and voices to create live shows that are joyful affairs, full of humor and warmth, beautifully showcasing her haunting melodies, and smart, gorgeous lyrics.

Ferguson celebrated the release of her second full-length record, The List of Whales, on January 5, 2014 with a sold-out show at The Iron Horse Music Hall, in Northampton, MA.  The release marks the culmination of a year-long project which began in the Fall of of 2012 when Ferguson raised $7,500 using the using the online crowdfunding platform Indiegogo.  

Called by the Greenfield Recorder, “beautifully produced ...impeccably arranged”  the 12 song CD was produced, mixed and engineered by Garrett Sawyer at his Amherst, MA studio, Northfire Recording Studios.  The record features an all-star cast of Western MA musicians including Jim Henry (Mary Chapin, Tracy Grammer) on guitar and mandolin, Zoe Darrow (Zoe Darrow and the Fiddleheads) on violin, Stephen Katz on cello, Steve Yarbro (The Primate Fiasco) on saxophone and clarinet, and JJ O’Connell (Heather Maloney) on drums.

Carrie was finalist in the 2013 Falcon Ridge Emerging Artist Showcase.   Carrie has opened for Antje Duvekot, Cheryl Wheeler, Livingston Taylor, Chely Wright, Catie Curtis, Patty Larkin, Charles Neville, Jill Sobule, and Meg Hutchinson .