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"DUFF--400 Miles (Editor's Pick!)"

I love vocally driven bands. So that's why I cringed when I realized that this absolutely fantastic outfit resides nowhere near me -- all the way over in the Bay Area. [Editor's Note: actually, Duff is based in LA, but he's close!] So if you live in that area and haven't seen Duff (not to be confused with Homer Simpson's favorite beer) yet, you're missing out on quite possibly one of the most magnificent rock outfits this side of pop-rock's biggest chart-toppers. Duff boasts not just a beautiful tenor voice but can even strum the guitar and hit the skins. The music is catchy pop with nodes of blues-rock and indie. But what bridges it all together is the outrageously deceptively perfect vocals. Please tour and come to Northern Virginia or Washington DC! (February 2005) - Smother.net

"Seriously great stuff"

'You Can Try': Catchy intro! The vocals had me definitely hooked after hearing the first line. Real fun song, but the beatle-esque harmonies really bring it up to seriously great stuff! Loved it, would love to hear this on the radio (head and shoulders over and above 99% of what's on radio now). Overall rating: 5/5... (February 2005) - broadjam.com

"The perfect vocalist..."

Sigh: This was really unique!! Parts of it reminded me of Bob Dylan and other parts reminded me of John Lennon. The instrumentation was simple, but effective. The lyrics were EXCELLENT. Great hook - if you asked me next week about the songs I heard today, I'd remember this one. This was the perfect vocalist for this message. (December 2004) - broadjam.com

"One of the tightest groups I've seen..."

Caught Duff (The band) at The Pitcher House Thursday night and they ROCKED the place. The three piece band is one of the tightest groups that I've seen this year. I wish I could say the same for the house sound man... After ten minutes of feedback, he finally managed to lower all the vocals until you could barely hear them, but by the last song he corrected his mistakes. Overall it was a great show! See www.allduff.com for their next show. They're definitely worth seeing... (July 2004)
- South Bay Music Scene

"Great, catchy songwriting"

Another performer of note: Duff. Kind of a "Donovan picnics with Country Bear Jamboree whilst being sodomized by Beck" feel. But regardless, he has talent. Great, catchy songwriting. Like most folks, I'm a sucker for pop hooks, and Duff weaves them into layered songs and closes the deal with a very likable, earnest stage presence. Yep. Really good songs. And that, in music, is what it all boils down to... (July 2004) - PopGoesLethal.com

"Crafty pop"

Duff delivers a polished combination of crafty pop and straight-forward rock that sounds like a mix between The Replacements and Wilco. Although there are only 5 tracks on this CD, the songs bear repeated listening simply by the quality of the songs and the performances. A great representation of Duff and makes you look forward to a full-length release. Rating 3.75 out of 5! (February 2005) - Ear Candy Magazine

"All Killer, No Fillers!"

The DUFF band, which originates from the heart of New York City, specializes in EPs. 400 Miles is already its fifth. Perhaps they can better focus themselves when limited to 5 or 6 numbers? 400 Miles contains five country-tinged pop-rock songs and betrays a lot of talent. Duff knows how to write great vocal tunes. There is the wonderful pop folk country led by a cheerful organ as with "Suddenly," driving rockers like "Adrenaline" and "You Can Try," and beguiling fragility as in the title track. The record ends with the folkish contemplation of "Sigh." All killer, no fillers! (7/05) - SwissRecords.com

"A first-rate vocalist..."


Though he's played here before as a guitarist and feels a special affinity for Nashville audiences, Los Angeles singer/songwriter Duff has never headlined a show locally. His Saturday night date at Cafe Coco is among several dates that Duff is doing in anticipation of a new CD coming out later this summer produced by Rick Boston (well known for his work with Rickie Lee Jones). The CD will also represent the latest in a string of independent label releases (previously 2-9 cut solo and band EPs) that have established him as both a first-rate vocalist and someone whose approach cuts across many genres.

'I guess there aren't many people around who enjoy both alt.country and disposable pop music,' Duff acknowledged. 'For me, when you talk about people like Hank Williams and Johnny Cash, they were not only great songwriters and very much in the country tradition, they were conscious that you had to be a real performer on stage. I've always been very attracted to their music, yet I can also appreciate the most radio-friendly type of pop, something many people in this business immediately reject. But writing songs with good hooks, or melodies where the audience gets hooked into a line and really falls in love with a phrase, is also an art form. What's unfortunately happened to a lot of pop music is that there's a fake aspect to it, and that's something that I completely reject.'

Part of Duff's emphasis on musical and performance reality dates back to his years in New York, where he sang in church choirs and performed in school musicals before turning to guitar playing as a teen. He spent lots of time in Manhattan, alternating between going to jazz clubs and closely studying the playing techniques of musicians like Bill Frisell, and studying songwriting and acting. Since relocating to San Francisco in 2000, Duff has cut a series of duo recordings with acoustic bassist Hans Glawischnig, and also served as lead guitarist with the group Single and the Rich McCulley Band.

His travels with McCulley, which have included a couple of Nashville visits, profoundly affected Duff's views on music, and he's carried over some of the things he witnessed to his current recording sessions.

'When Rich and I came to Nashville, we'd go into the honky-tonks and see these bands there whose members often had just been introduced to each other before the set. Then someone would out a request from the audience, and the leader would count it down and they'd just rip right through it like they'd rehearsed all day. That reinforced for me the importance of being able to play and sing, instead of relying on studio devices and production techniques. Rick and I have been adding a lot of instruments on different songs and trying all types of things, but the most important thing is having an organic, real sound to the music. That's the great lesson you learn in Nashville, because there are so many fantastic players who do that every night.'"
-- Ron Wynn (May 2006) - Nashville City Paper

"One of LA's best..."

Some folk fans seek solace in traditional music, not unlike classical fans who revere only dead composers. Others are reveling in the newest expression of new folk / post-folk / third-wave Americana, or call it simply the Acoustic Renaissance. Some of LA's best Acoustic Renaissance musicians, in no particular order, are Kat Parsons, Sean Wiggins, Rick Shea, Marina V, Pete Hopkins, Kelly Fitzgerald, Anny Celsi, James Hurley, Denise Vasquez, Ashley Maher, Vertigo Road, Matthew Lee, Sally Zito, VOCO, Brian Joseph, Julie Gribble, Hunter Payne, Lily Wilson, Duff, Al Polito, and Garret Swayne. Most fit the title of Samantha Murphy's new CD, Somewhere Between Starving and Stardom.... (8/05) - Folkworks Magazine

"Confident & honeysweet..."

December 2005 -- Music Connection names "400 Miles" to its list of the top 25 records released by unsigned bands in 2005!

The original record review from July 2005 reads as follows: "Duff Ferguson's confident, honeysweet tenor really resonates on this well-recorded EP. "Suddenly," "Adrenaline" and "400 Miles" are all relationship songs put forth with a romantic, femme-friendly vibe. While it's familiar stuff, this performer and his backup players have a good grip on the fast numbers and a sensitive touch on the ballads. Music publishers and music supervisors, especially, will want to check out this commercial-sounding EP." - Music Connection Magazine


Good Things (2008) -- full length record with full band

400 Miles (2005) -- 5 song EP with full band, two tracks have received airplay in Los Angeles (KPFK-FM, KCSN-FM, KCRW-FM) as well as KPIG-FM in Monterey. One track (Sigh) licensed by MTV.

Wanna Get High (2003) -- 2 song single, full band
Love Magnet (2002) -- 9 song EP, solo
Wantin' Them To Be (2001) -- 2 song single, acoustic with Hans Glawischnig on standup bass
One Eye Love (2000) -- 7 song EP, solo
Ashtabuela (1996) -- 4 song EP, full band
Peacekeeper (1994) -- 8 song EP, full band and solo tracks



DUFF FERGUSON's "confident, honeysweet tenor voice" (Music Connection Magazine) always walks a strong melodic path through his inventive, hooky melodic pop songs. Whether performing solo or with his eponymous band, Duff kicks out an infectious, highly personal show with "outrageously deceptively perfect vocals" (Smother) as if Rufus Wainwright were fronting Wilco. Folkworks Magazine has hailed Duff as "one of LA's best."

Duff is currently wrapping up a new full-length record with producers Todd Herfindal (Single, The Meadows) and Rich McCulley to be released in July 2007. The record includes guest performances by some of Duff's friends in LA's underground Americana scene, including Tony Gilkyson, Mike Stinson, Heather Waters, and Taras Prodaniuk. There is also a gospel chorus, soaring guitar solos, and a kazoo, bringing a fresh sound to indie pop.

Duff’s most recent EP, 400 MILES, showcases a distinctive songwriting talent gaining traction quickly through performances at colleges, festivals, clubs and coffeehouses, alongside indie press raves, television appearances, and radio play. Debuting on Los Angeles’s KPFK-FM, KCRW-FM, and KCSN-FM radio, the record brims with melodies and energy. In December 2005, Music Connection Magazine featured 400 MILES as one of the “Top 25 Demos of 2005,” a list of their highest rated records by unsigned artists. In January 2007, MTV used his song "Sigh" on their reality show "24/7".

Driving the songs over the top is the delicious combination of Duff's heartfelt vocals and shimmering harmonies from Portland singer Teri Untalan (Lush Life Players, Buckethead). The ghostly title track 400 Miles, which echoes with lonely guitar and B3 organ, is a "sad tale of desperate devotion that gets even more intriguing by the sudden revelation of said girl being dead and buried in the ground" (Cracked). B3 organ also rings out in the record opening Suddenly, a radio single with a bouncy guitar groove and a sunny tale of falling in love with a best friend. Close on its heels is Adrenaline, a hip shaking train beat tune with dueling twang guitars that jokingly chastises a friend who is living life a bit too high. Duff pulls out his bag of rock tricks on You Can Try, a brash statement of independence, packing it thick with meaty guitar licks. Closing the record is the plaintive Sigh, exposing the lonely life of the singer over simple acoustic guitar and atmospheric slide guitar.

In the past year, Duff has shared stages with artists such as Anna Nalick, Tom Freund, Garrin Benfield, and Randy Weeks. He has been interviewed and played live on KPNX-TV NBC Phoenix, KCTN-TV San Diego, KPFK-FM Los Angeles, and KPIG-FM Monterey.

Duff was born in New York City to a musical family and grew up singing in church choirs and school musicals before discovering rock guitar in his teens. Duff performed as a solo artist and session musician in Manhattan while studying acting and songwriting with Mark Barkan (Elvis, Rod Stewart), and he recorded three EPs before moving to San Francisco in 2000. In 2001, Duff collaborated with acoustic bassist Hans Glawischnig (David Sanchez, Ken Hatfield) on a series of duo recordings. He also toured over 20,000 miles as a lead guitarist with bands such as Single and the Rich McCulley Band.