Stuart Ferguson
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Stuart Ferguson

Acton, Massachusetts, United States | SELF

Acton, Massachusetts, United States | SELF
Band Folk Singer/Songwriter


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Stuart Ferguson releases beautiful, well-woven sophomore CD for 5Th Chakra Records"

Stuart Ferguson’s sophomore CD Love Songs (And Other Tall Tales) finds the artist in top form as his unusually smooth voice graces his gentle odes to love in its many splendor and not so splendor modes. Ferguson embraces fine musical touches to paint his vision. Yet, his artistic flourishes are only part of the story. He has written songs from the heart and soul and he shares much of himself on this work.

Recently released by The 5th Chakra Records, Ferguson utilizes many of the musicians associated with that label. The music on this CD cannot help but be exceptionally good. On Love Songs, Ferguson is backed up by a group of musician friends whom he calls The Fashionistas. The entire band plays with such a working familiarity with each other that each song has undeniable quality in their soundscapes. They are keyboardist Lori Diamond, bass and electric guitar player Fred Abatelli, percussionist Phil Punch, and backing vocalist Lyn O’Conor-Ferguson.

Ferguson’s opening track “Holding Me Down” is a vocal delight. His smooth, handsome tenor graces this nugget of gentle piano, quiet organ, and intricate percussion patterns, packing emotion into each verse with his tender restraint. Ferguson’s voice has a bright, clear timbre that sounds both earthy and light. His thick, solid guitar chords push forward like a slow moving plow, taking its time but certain to get the job done. Lori Diamond’s organ chords thicken the sound and give this tune a flexible backbone. Everything comes together in a way that tugs on the ear.

Next, Feguson puts heart and soul into singing a travel tale he calls “Come Back To Me.” He earnest croon keeps this piece in a reflective mode. His voice widens in places and there’s a bright unique richness in it. His vocal approach controls everything going on, tempo, dynamics, and timbre. He makes you feel as if you’re hearing him live with his vibrant approach.

“Stranger Mine” is notable for its electric guitar kick and its sophisticated piano backdrop. Together, the instruments weave a tapestry of sublime beauty. This tune takes its time unfolding its guitar melody and this lets Ferguson sing widely in tone, giving a lot of warmth to the spaces between the voice and instruments. When he sings “I know there’s life and love there” you can believe he means it.

Ferguson’s song “Wishing Well” is about not being in the best of circumstances and the feeling that controls your thoughts during these moments. Fred Abatelli’s bulbous, palpable bass notes ably punctuate the lilting melody under Ferguson’s svelte voice.

“Half-Mile Down” centers on West Virginia coal miners whom Ferguson clearly sympathizes with as he contemplates a better future for today’s children. The serious theme, however, gets a tender treatment with a warm tone Ferguson brings with his vocal. Juxtaposing seriousness and warmth makes each quality ring truer until the listener is moved by both.

A forlorn piano melody in “Romance” builds a platform for Ferguson’s voice to emote over with his tender observations about a fleeting relationship. A background coo haunts this song with more forlorn tenderness. Such layering without seeming layered is a consistent strength here and throughout Ferguson’s CD.

His song “The River And The Course” moves at river’s pace, Ferguson’s uptempo acoustic guitar playing beneath his svelte tenor perfectly captures the feeling one has when watching the currents move. Phil Punch peppers this tune with many percussion beats and that reminds of all the ripples, splashes, and mini alternative routes as the water courses around rocks large and small and curves around embankments. Each verse is made up of perfect moments as Ferguson’s voice rings out over his fast moving currents of notes and chords.

Ferguson stuns with his ability to make the listener feel what he was feeling when he found the inspirations for his songs. Balancing perfectly voice, bass, and piano “Tear To My Eye” creates the feeling of emotional lethargy and hopelessness during a time of loss. Lori Diamond drops those piano notes and chords at just the right moments to make us feel this song even more deeply.

“Hallelujah” is a voice fest, and it would be an ephemeral moment in time if it was not recorded by Ferguson and his Fashionistas, and documented on this disc. It is doubtful that the same chemistry and harmony between multiple vocalists could ever come together this perfectly with the right lushness and textures.

The darkest, edgiest tune on Love Songs, “Nothing Left To Say,” is Ferguson’s keen narrative that never judges and never flinches from offering snap shots of a bleak situation. Fred Abatelli’s piercing electric guitar melody makes heart-felt incisions into Ferguson’s musical landscape, bringing the vision a whole new dimension of awareness and feeling.

“Revelation” showcases the power of Ferguson’s voice, with its sparse background of acoustic guitar and pedal steel, to move the listener on an emotional level. This singer, in a mellow performance, questions religious salvation from a warm perspective. The pedal steel crying out from the background haunts the tune with a strong emotional undercurrent. Getting more upbeat and hopeful with “Diamond And Pearls,” Ferguson’s assertive strumming and tender vocal adorn his message about “the challenges of this world.” Background coos make his lead vocal come alive with the contrast in timbres.

Ferguson closes out with “Reason’s Rhyme,” a brief piece of nimble acoustic guitar picking and steady even vocal. This final tune offers a sweet accented melody that makes one think of something with no end. There is not a sense of goodbye from Ferguson but a feeling of to be continued. The singer-songwriter has dropped this CD as his latest correspondence on his journey of life. You can sense we will be hearing a lot more from him in the years to come. - Bill Copeland Music

"Stuart Ferguson - "Love Songs (and other tall tales)""

Singer-songwriter-guitarist Stuart Ferguson delivers a deeply personal album with "Love Songs (and other tall tales)." Beautifully crafted lyrics, consummate musicianship from Ferguson and bandmates Fred Abatelli (guitar, bass, vocals), Lori Diamond (piano, vocals, organ, B3), Lyn O'Conor-Ferguson (vocals), Phil Punch (percussion), and Eric Kilburn (lap steel, recording, mixing, and mastering) create a timeless sense of the human condition; sorrow, joy, hope, and love. Nothing is forced here. The sounds flow easily and sure like a steady rolling river while vocals reflect a fine-tuned balance of delicate nuance, gorgeous harmony and soulful introspection. This album will make you weep and moan, laugh and cry, smile and shout with heartfelt honesty. - Douglas Sloan - Metronome Magazine


"Shackles & Ties" - Rabid Rabbit Records (2004)

"Love Songs (and other tall tales)" - 5th Chakra Records (2010)
The track "Come Back to Me" has been featured on Jerry Treacy's show Down along the Cove on WFDU.



Honesty is the key component of the voice of any writer or singer. Capturing the truth of experience and sharing a moment of recollection and realization with the listener is the voice that every artist desires. With a keen eye for the details, Stuart Ferguson is that voice.

As a recovering addict who is now living with cancer, Stuart has a unique ability to bring the immediacy and fragility of life to the melodies and words of his songs.

Long a member of Boston's thriving acoustic music scene, Stuart grew up in a musical family. The Newton, MA native is a classically trained flautist, but during college he stepped away from the world of classical music and picked up the guitar so that he could write songs that explore the complexities that define us. By the late eighties Stuart was immersed in the Boston/Cambridge open mic scene, from which emerged a new crop of literate songwriters including Patty Griffin, Ellis Paul, Dar Williams, and Vance Gilbert.

With influences as varied as Lou Reed, Joe Strummer, Woody Guthrie, Gram Parsons, and Luka Bloom, Stuart’s tenor voice delivers the lyrics to stories of personal struggle, perseverance, and redemption. Stuart’s songs speak to the core of the human condition, thoughtfully exploring themes that are often avoided. He dives into the darker territories of addiction and despair and yet somehow, he seamlessly guides you into the realms of unconditional love and hope. Stuart's contemporary acoustic sound will appeal to those who enjoy the simplicity of traditional folk as well as those who appreciate more elaborate instrumentation and vocal arrangements. Melody and rhythm intertwine across this musical journey an pure satisfaction. Stuart has one self-released CD, “Shackles & Ties,” and his latest CD, “Love Songs (and Other Tall Tales),” was released in November 2010 on 5th Chakra Records.

A finalist in the 2009 Boston Folk Festival Songwriting Competition, Stuart has been featured at a number of New England venues including Club Passim, The Wachusett Music Series, The Amazing Things Arts Center, The Center for Arts in Natick (TCAN), Perks Coffeehouse, The Java Room, Naked City Coffeehouse, The Nameless Coffeehouse, and Mocha Maya’s. He has played around the country from Bellingham, WA to Morgantown, WV, worked as a member of Ellis Paul’s band, and has shared the stage with Dar Williams, Flynn, Vance Gilbert, Brooks Williams, Don White, Jim Infantino, Jon Svetkey, Peter Mulvey, and Geoff Bartley. Stuart’s live performances are dynamic and emotional.