Tell us about your new single/ album/ tour?
We’ve just returned home from an incredibly fun 2 week tour up the east coast to launch my new album Be Here Now. The record was produced and engineered by Jeff Lang and features The Stillsons as my formidable backing band as well as a few special guests (Suzannah Espie singing a harmony and Jason Bunn on viola and violin). It’s a real mix of roots genres and explores folk, country and rock and roll territory. The superb musicianship and style of the band; Cat Canteri on drums and harmonies, Justin Bernasconi on guitars and harmonies and Ben Franz on bass and pedal steel blows me away and getting to sing and play with these guys is a real treat. Our Melbourne launch is Saturday August 1st at Bella Union in Carlton.
How would you describe your sound in food form and why?
Why a banquet of course! It’s a feast of styles so there would be many different sumptuous platters to choose from depending on your mood.
Which song resonates most strongly and why?
I think the title track Be Here Now resonates most strongly for me. It’s one of the newest songs on the album and I enjoy performing it. It has a laid-back almost Fleetwood Mac kind of feel and reminds me how life is too short to worry about the future as much as I am prone to.
Any on the road anecdotes?
[pullquote]Will I ever find out the truth? Probably not! Was he just a loon? Possibly![/pullquote]After a gig in Brisbane, I met an Englishman on holiday who claimed to be the writer of the Tony Joe White song Polk Salad Annie and also the session drummer on the recording of Radar Love by Golden Earring. He was incredibly knowledgable about the music and musicians of the 1960’s and 70’s and his story seemed totally plausible yet I can find no facts to back it up. Will I ever find out the truth? Probably not! Was he just a loon? Possibly!
Where do you draw inspiration from?
There are probably two main eras I draw influence from: the swing, big band music and jazz vocalists of the 1940’s: the likes of Billy Holiday, Kaye Starr and Ella Fitzgerald and the country greats, especially Hank Williams. My other favourite music would be from the late 60’s and 70’s British rock and roll era of The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Faces and The Beatles. Very different styles I know and there’s also loads more I’m influenced by; the volume of superb Australian bands and musicians alone is staggering. Jeff Lang, Matt Walker, Suzannah Espie, Don Walker and Chris Wilson to name a few. I would have to also mention Neil Young and Willy Nelson in terms of song-writing. Bluegrass and old-time country music is a big influence too: I learned to play old time fiddle before I started singing and writing songs. My inspirational discoveries from recent years are Laura Marling and Eilen Jewel. Both fantastic and quite unique.
What’s next for you?
I’m off to South Australia for a few shows with Jed Rowe. We co-headlined the recent tour of the east coast as we both have records out which are produced by Jeff Lang and feature Cat Canteri and Justin Bernasconi. Our music worked well together and we ended up playing together on a few songs each night. Jed’s a fantastic singer-songwriter and guitar player and a top bloke. His new album (The Last Day Of Winter) is superb.
What’s your scene?
Going to gigs, drinking too much then regretting it, playing with my kids, being called a butt-face by my daughter, encouraging other people to realise their musical dreams, finding solidarity in fellow musicians, having no idea what to ‘tweet’.
About Alison Ferrier
Be Here Now is Alison Ferrier’s follow up album to Sugar Baby (2012); and will be released on Friday 5th June through MGM. National and regional tour dates have also been announced to coincide with the release.
Produced by ARIA award winner Jeff Lang, this is Ferrier’s first recording featuring a full band. While retaining the intimate and revealing storytelling songwriting style of
Alison’s debut album ‘Sugar Baby’, ‘Be Here Now’ demonstrates her artistic growth and emergence as a forceful performer.
Harking back to a time when many hugely popular musicians were happily eclectic, ‘Be Here Now’ travels through various pop and roots regions. The cumulative effect is like a poignant ballad singer from the 1940s who gets in a mood sometimes and lets her band turn up the amps and kick out the jams.
To meet the demands of such diverse material Ferrier enlisted the skills of local alt-country band The Stillsons (Cat Canteri on drums and harmonies, Justin Bernasconi on guitar and harmonies and Ben Franz – also The Waif’s long standing bassist – on bass and pedal steel). Alongside Ferrier’s voice and guitar the band provides an exciting and formidable back-drop to this compelling collection of new songs.
TOURING JUNE/JULY/AUG WITH JED ROWE
Saturday 1st August – Bella Union, Melbourne VIC
Friday 21st August – Ararat Live, Ararat VIC