Sovereign Bank Series: Melissa Ferrick

By
Margot Edwards
August 15, 2008
Melissa Ferrick

The 2008-2009 Sovereign Bank Music Series at Berklee kicks off with singer/songwriter and Berklee alumna Melissa Ferrick, Saturday, September 13, 8:15 p.m., at the Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA.

Ferrick celebrates the release of her new CD, Goodbye Youth, at this concert. Folk and bluegrass artist Rose Cousins opens the show.  Tickets—$30 general admission ($22.50 for seniors)—are on sale now at the BPC box office and through Ticketmaster: 617 931-2000 or ticketmaster.com. Please call 617 747-2261 or visit berkleebpc.com for more information. The BPC is wheelchair accessible.

Melissa Ferrick can blow her own horn quite well—flugelhorn, to be exact—if she chose. Instead, she expresses her creative spirit with an acoustic guitar. Since the early 1990s, the accomplished singer/songwriter has compiled a string of sonically strong, lyrically rich studio albums.  Her widely praised 2006 album, In the Eyes of Strangers, fulfilled the rock 'n' roll essence from which Ferrick has long drawn inspiration. Just when it seemed she would plunge into a more layered, instrumentally diverse driven sound, she produced perhaps her most intimate, stripped-down album to date. Goodbye Youth—her ninth studio effort—comes out September 16 on Ferrick's own Right On Records.

Goodbye Youth was laid down in a single day during her near-constant tour schedule. The album, a departure from the music she wrote and arranged with a team of accomplished musicians on her previous CD, retains Ferrick's trademark: an endearing, emotionally honest first-person narrative style approach driven by her dynamic acoustic sound.  The decision to dial back the sound on Goodbye Youth didn't leave the thrust in the dust. In a stroke of musical mastery, Ferrick channeled her rock spirit into a fresh acoustic idiom, navigated with tactical beauty with the assistance of engineer Scott Norton (Son Volt, Jay Farrar).

A veteran of the acoustic tradition, Ferrick's musical journey actually started in a different vein - as a brass musician.  After studying flugelhorn at Berklee, Ferrick set out on her own, signing with Atlantic Records. Her debut album, 1993's Massive Blur, garnered glowing reviews, as did her sophomore effort, released a year later. A last-second addition as a support act for Morrissey in 1994 not only resulted in more dates with the popular British artist, it also laid the foundation for Ferrick's reputation as a dynamic live act. Ferrick ranks among an elite group of female guitarists who'll brave the stage alone, and leave it with the house crying for more. 

Ferrick's concert celebrates the launch of the GLBT Leadership Fund at Berklee, with all proceeds benefiting the fund. The GLBT Leadership Fund, newly established through an alumni gift, provides support to students working to benefit the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community at Berklee and beyond. Applications are open to any Berklee student, regardless of sexual orientation, and two awards will be granted annually.  

The 2008-2009 Sovereign Bank Music Series at Berklee presents eight concerts featuring Eva Ayllon, Daniel Lanois, Wayne Shorter, Mint Condition, Philip Bailey, and more. Many of these artists will perform with Berklee students, faculty, or alumni, showcasing Berklee's own heavy-hitters alongside the best of contemporary folk, jazz, Latin, pop, and r&b.