As a singer-songwriter, today’s #FridayFind is versatile, experienced, and entirely authentic. Hailing from the southern Ohio riverbank town of Portsmouth, he relocated to Nashville early in his singer-songwriting career to learn from the best and flourish as an artist. Constantly listening to songwriters like Jackson Browne and Earl Thomas Conley, Rick developed a love for country, folk rock and musical storytelling. Influenced by love, relationships, and of course some good ol’ fashioned alcohol-infused fun, his music spans the subgeneres of country music in a uniquely frictionless fashion. Whether you’re inner tubing in July or bundled in a ski cabin in March, Rick Ferrell’s discography, highlighted by his latest release “No Easy Way”, is a must-have for the collection.
Beginning with his 2001 studio album Different Point of View, Rick paints a colorful portrait of his life at the time. From the self-defining and ambitious “You Don’t Stand Alone” to the love-obsessed “The Girl’s Got It Goin’ On”, the album features everything from traditionally-country violin intros to somber coffeehouse acoustic guitar verses. Even the album’s cover, which portrays Rick in an appropriately sepia-drenched seat of a car, appears to define his uncertainty with the world and his future. As for now, his individuality and talent in the songwriting landscape have carried him throughout his lengthy career in Music City.
His latest album release, 2017’s Home for the Weekend, showcases another side of Rick; at this point in his career the matured and experienced singer-songwriter powerfully transmits his present emotions through the airwaves. While the cozy and comfortable riverbank vibes still persist, this album feels more at place in today’s dynamic and collaborative music landscape.
The title track, an homage to his hometown of Portsmouth, lets us experience Rick’s early life in Ohio and educates us on growing up from his perspective. It becomes clear that his laid back and relationship-driven personality originates from the “dot on the map sitting on the riverbank” where beer joints and barbecues run wild on the weekends. As Rick puts it: “My hometown has been a bottomless well of inspiration since I began writing songs.. that place just has a unique mixture of ingredients that lends itself to creativity and story telling.” Throughout tracks like “Tom and Huck” and “Happy People” we further witness these loving relationships and good-time occurrences that seem to stem directly from his upbringing and present themselves ubiquitously in his music.
Whether it’s incorporating blues riffs into his new music while writing at the independent music publishing company Summer Star Music or drinking beers at a dive bar when Tim McGraw’s version of his song “Something Like That” blares through the jukebox, it seems like Ferrell is making music and living life at his own speed. After all, when a guy incorporates rock, folk, country and blues into his music, it becomes clear there’s nothing he can’t do.
For more information about Rick’s music and his new song “No Easy Way”, check out his social media and Spotify pages below.
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Rick Ferrell’s #FeaturedFour:
- “No Easy Way” (2017) – His latest single, (which he comments “could possibly be a sneak peek in on what’s to come”!) has a bluesy feel that seems novel yet familiar at the same time. The song, which moves away from traditional country and into the coffeehouse blues mixed with R&B Soul Pop genre (reminiscent of Sam Cooke) is certainly experimental for Ferrell, but he navigates these unsailed waters with comfort and ease. If a new record emerges with feeling like this, we’ll be first in line.
- “Good Time Buzz” (2017) – As a deeper cut from his latest album, this track incorporates darker blues licks over a light acoustic rhythm in the background. With an ominous verse introducing a upbeat chorus, this song showcases Rick’s emotion-provoking ability. While it becomes clear that the “Tennessee moonshine, havin’ a good time buzz” is song’s focal point, the almost eerie nature of the verses creates the night sky effect, proving that Rick’s music is fitting in any atmosphere at any time of day.
- “See The World With You” (2001) – Throwing it back to the early days, this song, along with the rest of this record, has the traditional ‘90s country sound that will make any listener stick around. Capitalizing on the truckbed country rock also popularized by bands like Hootie & The Blowfish and Lonestar, Ferrell offers his take on what can be identified as the certified sound of the era. Whereas some of Ferrell’s later material is best consumed with a glass of scotch, his early work is perfect for any beach or boat dock.
- “That’s My Dog” (2017) – One of our favorite songs from Rick’s library comes at the end of his latest record. Relating the story of Rick’s friendship with his “childhood dog and best buddy Oscar”, this folk tune is something we can all relate to. With a little sense of humor mixed in, this song prominently displays Rick’s storytelling prowess and unmatched ability to connect with his audience on more levels than one.
Plus, check out Rick’s latest vlog series, “Coffee & And Song”, which gets its inspiration from his full-time residence being on a boat!
– R&B NYC