Melissa Ferrick performing on September 10, 2008
|Born||September 21, 1970|
|Origin||Massachusetts, United States|
|Instruments||Guitar, bass guitar, vocals, drums, flugelhorn, violin|
W.A.R.? - What Are Records?
Right On Records
Melissa Ferrick (born 1970) is an American Artist-Songwriter-Entrepreneur-Educator.
Ferrick was raised in Ipswich, Massachusetts.She began taking classical violin lessons at the age of five, and then moved on to the piano. In elementary and junior high school, she learned the trumpet and bass. Altogether, she received 12 years of formal music training, including two years each at the Berklee College of Music and the New England Conservatory of Music. Ferrick taught herself to play the acoustic guitar at Berklee, and dropped out after two years to pursue her music career.
Melissa Ferrick is currently an Associate Professor of songwriting at Berklee College of Music and pursuing her M.Ed. At Harvard University Graduate School of Education. Regarded in the industry and by her peers as one of the most prolific and hardworking artists in the business, Ferrick still tours regularly playing throughout North America. She has shared the stage with Morrissey, Marc Cohn, Paul Westerberg, John Hiatt, Joan Armatrading, Weezer, Tegan and Sara, G-Love & Special Sauce, Bob Dylan, Dan Bern, Ani DiFranco, k.d. Lang, Suzanne Vega, Shawn Colvin, and many others.
Ferrick began her career singing and playing in coffeehouses in the East Village, New York City. She received a great deal of publicity in 1991 when she replaced, at the last minute, the opening act for the singer Morrissey on tour. She subsequently toured through the U.S. and U.K. as his opening act during the Kill Uncle tour. Ferrick signed with Atlantic Records and released her first studio album, Massive Blur, in 1993. Despite critical acclaim and a surging underground fan base she was dropped when her first two albums did not meet the label's financial expectations.
In 1996, she recorded with the indie label W.A.R.? - What Are Records?. Ferrick released three albums on the label; Made of Honor, Everything I Need, and Freedom, the latter inspired by Janet Jackson's The Velvet Rope.
In 2000, Ferrick founded her own record label, Right On Records. The first studio album released on her own label was Valentine Heartache. Since her departure from Atlantic, the rise in her popularity has been driven by her fan-base, by reviews in the independent and alternative press, and by word-of-mouth.
In the Eyes of Strangers, released in October 2006, was the sixth album released on her own label. Ferrick partially financed the recording costs for In The Eyes of Strangers with digital downloads of acoustic versions of select songs which fans could purchase directly via her website. Her fourteenth album, Goodbye Youth, was released September 2008. In Spring 2010, she released an album of cover songs called Enough About Me, and announced plans to release an album of original material later that same year.
In 2010 she signed with MPress records releasing two albums, "Still Right Here" featuring Ani Difranco and "the truth is" which won the Independebt Music Award for Alt. Country Album of the Year, 2013.
In 2015 Ferrick re-launch her record label and fan funded her seventeenth album, which she self titled, describing it as a "returning home and a new beginning".
During live performances, Ferrick mostly accompanies herself on a Collings OM3 SB acoustic guitar. She has also experimented with loop pedals and a range of accompaniments, including, in particular, brass instruments.
Ferrick's rigorous touring schedule generally includes more than 150 shows per year. She plays solo gigs in small to medium-sized clubs and numerous festivals, as well as larger venues accompanied by a band.
Melissa Ferrick is openly queer, ; her album Everything I Need was named 1999 Album of the Year by the Gay and Lesbian American Music Association, and she has received positive reviews in the queer publication The Advocate. In interviews and articles she speaks openly not only about her sexuality, but also about her love life, and her personal life in general.