Brett Ferguson,
The TVD First Date

“I am the youngest of three children. My sister is 10 years my senior and gave me my first mix tape (yep, those actually existed) when I was 7 or 8 years old.”

“It had everything from Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” to Pearl Jam’s “Alive” and even LL Cool J’s “Mama Said Knock You Out.” This small piece of plastic with 21 songs opened up the world to me. It was rebellious, it was lyrical, it was emotional, and it was raw. The artists didn’t all sing with pretty voices. They just sang with what they had. The imperfection in the artists did not matter and, if anything, were reasons for celebration.

I found this break from the norm glaringly obvious in Dave Matthews Band’s CD, Under the Table and Dreaming. Go ahead, laugh. Shake your head in disagreement. But to a ten-year old kid in 1994 when this album was released, it was revolutionary on the Pop/Acoustic Rock scene.

His guitar playing and song writing broke away from the 4/4 time signature, broke away from the four chord songs I was used to hearing, and created space for improvisation with unconventional instruments instead of your typical guitar solo. This influenced my desire to study jazz in college as a bassist. This influenced the instruments that I wanted in my band. It also influenced my song writing to pull out some of the darker emotions I felt and to write about my inner demons.

In high school I also discovered Nick Drake. In a time where I was an anxious teenager, wanting to write upbeat, catchy music that people could dance to, his albums Five Leaves Left and Pink Moon slowed me down. I would listen to these two albums over and over, closing my eyes to take away any distractions and got lost in the amazing beauty of songs that were both complex and simple at the same time.

It was my first experience hearing an upright bass on an album that wasn’t jazz. It was probably my first time hearing different chord qualities in songs that weren’t typical jazz tunes. He was in no rush to sing a hook or a melody that would catch the listener’s attention. He simply let the story unfold.

I’m still working on allowing my music to speak for itself, but I think Dave Matthews and Nick Drake are perfect examples of this being done with integrity.”
Brett Ferguson

The Brett Ferguson Band’s second full length release, Let Go is in stores now via Electric Giant Productions.

Brett Ferguson Facebook | Twitter

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