Melissa Ferrick belongs to a community of women musicians like Liz Phair, Ani DiFranco, and PJ Harvey, who were using their gifts and passion to make big sounds and even bigger statements before either were considered "cool." Ferrick's no-holds-barred lyrics about shipwrecked relationships and the hypocrisy of a male-dominated music industry are only part of what makes this guitarist/singer-songwriter both prolific and enduring.
As a child raised by a father who managed several jazz bands in the Boston area, Ferrick got an early taste for the music scene, often accompanying her father to well-known clubs to hear musicians play. Drawn to piano, trumpet, and bass, Ferrick eventually taught herself acoustic guitar while studying music at Berklee College in Boston. She left after two years and struck out for New York to pursue her own music career.
Ferrick thrived in the politically and socially rich artistic scene of the mid-1990s, releasing several records and touring widely. In 2000 she launched her own label, Right On Records, which gave her the creative and business freedom to make her own kind of music on her own terms. A departure from industry reputation also enabled Ferrick to grow her fan base through emerging social media and to record more robustly: since 2000 she has released more than ten studio albums and plays an average of 150 shows or more per year.
Ferrick's latest release is the truth is, album she describes on her website as: "a creative departure in its collaborative approach to the recording process...a raw, rootsy record set to a sweeping Americana/alt-country soundtrack that layers pedal steel guitars and background harmonies into some of the lushest, brightest songs of her 20-year career."
An openly lesbian performer, Melissa Ferrick has been an advocate for the LGBTQ community and has been recognized for her work by The Advocate as well as OUT Magazine where, in 2011, she was a featured music honoree in OUT Magazine's OUT100.
Enjoy "I Don't Want You to Change" and be sure to check out all the grooves on I AM THAT GIRL's Music Monday's playlist, updated each week!
Featured image via mpressrecords.com