Carrie Ferguson grew up playing an enormous, upright, chocolate-brown 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, the piano had to be played the way the instrument itself demanded, which to Ferguson’s ear meant sticking to the lower two-thirds 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.
Currently living in Northampton, MA, Carrie Ferguson’s original songs range from playfully jubilant and whimsical, to soaring pop, country-tinged folk, and straight up rock. Ferguson’s band, a rotating 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’s numerous awards include a Gold Award in the 2020 Mid-Atlantic Songwriting Contest and First Place in the 2020 New England Songwriting Competition for “Tavi’s Song.” The New England Songwriting Competition honored “Cat and Piggy” as a finalist in 2019, and “Wooden Nickel” from Ferguson’s Americana album, The List of Whales, was a finalist in the New England Songwriting Competition in 2017.
Ferguson has opened for Patty Larkin, Catie Curtis, Charles Neville, Cheryl Wheeler, Livingston Taylor, Chely Wright, Jill Sobule, and Laura Love, among others.
Previous albums include Piti Theatre and Carrie Ferguson’s Greatest Bits Vol. 1 (2015, for kids and families), The List of Whales (2013, for adults), and Riding on the Back of the Wind (2010, for adults).