Chris Ferguson
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Chris Ferguson

Yorba Linda, California, United States | SELF

Yorba Linda, California, United States | SELF
Band Pop Singer/Songwriter

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Music

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Discography

CDs:
1998, Califergia
2001, OPC Sampler
2007, Flash in the Fan

The following songs have received streaming airplay:
Teabag Intermezzo
Brand New Game
Duct Tape
Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

Photos

Bio

I grew up in the blustering mecca known as Newark, Delaware, which despite what you may think is a rather interesting place. I lived there for most of my life. My parents hated it and no longer live there, so my reasons to visit are seldom, which is kind of a drag.

I actually formed my first band, The Explorers, when I was 10 years old. I got some neighborhood kids together, and I started writing songs. Nobody actually played any instruments. We made drums out of boxes, and re-purposed some musical “toys” of our younger siblings. We did have a “Magical Musical Thing”, which might qualify as an actual instrument. I wrote lyrics and melodies and sang them above a mish-mash of random blowing, pounding, strumming, etc. It was quite the spectacle. Our parents forced us to disband after hearing our debut single, “Let’s Explore” – a song about sexual exploration and discovery that we recorded on my Panasonic cassette recorder. That was it for my musical career for awhile, unless you count my guest spot as a drummer on the recording of a song by the neighborhood’s competing girl band written by my sister entitled “Running in the Dark”.

I really didn’t do anything else with music until high school when I got my first guitar. It was crappy, but I loved it. I got a couple of Hal Leonard books and learned some chords. I almost immediately started writing and recording songs. I figured out how to multitrack using a pair of cassette recorders. It was all crap, of course, but you gotta start somewhere. I also got my first taste of performing live when me and a couple of friends started performing classic rock covers in study hall. It turned into a weekly sing-along. I didn’t actually have an acoustic guitar at the time, so I had to borrow one from a friend. I still remember how much it hurt to play it, but I also remember what it felt like as I sat their struggling with the quicker chord changes of “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard”, and looking up to maybe half a dozen girls singing along. Ah, yes.

In college, I was in several bands of no renown: The Hollow Men, Point Blank, Sons of Jubal. There were more, but they were all the same band with different names. Eventually, I formed a band, SpoonHead, with some friends and we played for a few years. We played mostly cover tunes at dive bars, but I used this time to advance my songwriting a little, and to have the occasion to share my songs with an audience that wasn’t made primarily of toddlers. We played one of my songs, “Mercy Killing”, which was kind of a cheesy, hair-metalesque tune with a catchy hook, and I remember a friend of mine telling me, “You’re lying. I don’t believe you wrote that. It’s too good.” Aww shucks.

After college, I joined another band, The Shambles and finally enjoyed some local success. It was a great experience for me, because, as the bass player of that band, performance was really secondary. It was during this time that I realized that I really wanted to be a songwriter and focused on trying find my voice. Some of the songs that I wrote during this period, such as “Breeze” and “Curtains”, I still play today. It was a great time.

While The Shambles were playing out and about town, I also started a songwriting project with a friend of mine from the west coast. We called our pseudo-group the Original Premium Crackers. Participating in a project dedicated to the writing of songs was very eye-opening. We wrote and wrote and wrote and recorded everything. Looking back, we recorded a lot of garbage, but we also stumbled upon some real gems. We also released one full-length CD, Califergia, that I’m told received quite a bit of circulation around the Yale University campus at the time. Califergia contained the songs “Lifeless Boy” and “Jig Dancing Girl”, which I still perform, and I also wrote the songs “Karen” and “Hell” as part of the OPC effort.

In the late 1990s, I left Delaware for California, and, while I continued writing, I didn’t perform for several years other than neighbors back yards and around campfires, but both my writing and playing took a definite turn toward acoustic music. Just about all of the songs I’ve written since moving out here were written on acoustic guitar.

In 2003, at the start of the “Podcast Revolution”, I started a podcast, AirFerg, which I did for several years. It was a comedy show with music and sketches in each episode. I probably wrote and recorded 60 songs for the show – most very short, created primarily to get a laugh. Occasionally, I’ll perform a couple of these at my shows for a little comic relief.

In 2009, with a growing songbook and an itch to get back on stage, I started hitting open mics and, playing local coffee houses, bars and parties for the last year or so. It’s been very exciting. I’ve really enjoyed getting out there and interacting with the local musicians and finding fans of original music. I live in Yorba Linda with my wife and 3 kids. They’re all thankful that I’ve foun