MusicFest Concert Series


The Native Sons Hall

“Ferron writes of love with the relentless introspection of Leonard Cohen, and, as with classic Bob Dylan, her songs’ tough, questioning attitude sometimes gives way to an unexpected.” – Rolling Stone Magazine

When Canadian singer-songwriter Ferron was 15, she hit the road alone. She had a single shopping bag with a change of clothes, a toothbrush, a waitress uniform, and a Leonard Cohen LP. Little did she know then, but one day her own songs would be compared to Cohen’s for their depth of word-craft, intimacy, and wisdom. (NPR)

“Ferron is no diva. She is a real salt of the earth singer who approaches her art with both sleeves rolled up, ready to dive in. She walks her talk with heart exposed and performs with a courage and commitment that few other artists ever muster. The songs don’t sound composed and sung as much as they feel wrung from the sweat and toil of hard-fought experience. In Ferron’s world, the contents of her songs appear as if they’re lived out on the canvas of her life and not just inside the confines of her art.

Ferron illuminates the human experience in a way that few artists are capable of. Like fellow Canadian Leonard Cohen, Ferron has such self-possession and intuitive command of her material that she can deliver lines that a less experienced singer would never be able to pull off. The weight, poise and gravity that she communicates with each word, each carefully annunciated phrase, is something to marvel at. The words she sings sound ancient, irrefutable and significant.” (from Restless and Real)

With a touring career spanning three decades, the legendary Canadian folk singer Ferron has made her ‘comeback’ in 2008 with the release of her fourteenth record, Boulder, produced by Bitch (Righteous Babe, Kill Rocks Stars). Boulder includes inspired performances by mentees Ani DiFranco, Samantha Parton (Be Good Tanyas), The Indigo Girls, and Jd Samson (Le Tigre), and helped generate new awareness for Ferron’s music among the younger generation.

In 2009 the long awaited documentary, “Ferron: Girl on a Road” was screened worldwide at film festivals and on television. Ferron will also release a soundtrack of songs from the film.

YouTube footage of the Freight & Salvage concert shows an animated Ferron fronting an all-star cast of Bay Area musicians. Ferron’s songwriting tends to be about finding one’s place in an often hostile world, and she’s clearly created a supportive community of players and listeners alike. And her message has not gone out-of-date.

“Maybe it was naive, but when I was younger I really thought that we could change… Well, ‘the world’,” she says. “I don’t know anymore what that means, but we all thought things could change through music and through the heart. My trust was in what the heart says, so I was writing songs to that end, and trying to learn how to be a better being—how to analyze my own stuff and make sense of it on kind of a harmonic level.

“Sometimes people think I’m singing about love, but really I’m singing about the cosmos,” she adds. “But wherever you can grab it is where you grab it.”