Ferron & Band

Date and Venue Sunday 7 September @ 8 pm, Doors 7.15 pm | Coast Plaza Hotel Ballroom, Denman and Comox Streets

Reviewer Ed Farolan

Canadian folk legend Ferron comes home to her roots in a show by one of Vancouver's favourite performers. It was a show not to be missed, and in fact, the full house at the hotel's ballroom was proof enough. Ferron evidently wows her crowd whenever she performs. She has that very casual style about her that makes an audience feel at ease. After two whours (with a brief intermission), the audience was asking for more, and she did come back to do one more number.

I'm not familiar with the songs she sang, but I could see a lot of Bob Dylan in her style. In her autobiography, she mentions all singers she lisened to when she was a teen, including Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. And I could tell from her compositions that she took the best of these singers and incorporated their styles and songs into her own..Some of the songs she sang at the Coast Plaza were "Girl on the Road", "Souvenir", "The Cart", "Higher Wisdom", "In the Meantime", "Harmless Love", "Misty Morning", and "My, My".

I enjoyed most the last three. She made a joke about "Harmless Love" when she paused a bit to drink her water and asked the audience what they did today (Sunday). Some said they did gardening, others lazed around in the park, as it was a nice sunny day. And someone asked: "Did you go to church?" To which she answered: "This is my church!" And everyone laughed and in fact, when she sang this song, we actually felt its religiosity.

"Misty Mountain", another favourite, was a familiar song to many of the Ferron fans. They sang along and a few went to the back and danced to her singing. The last song, "My, My!" was quite moving. She said she had just broken up with someone and was in Santa Fe, Mexico where she composed this song somewhere on top of a hill.

The other band members were fabulous. I enjoyed Jami Sieber playing her Electric Cello as she also did some backup singing. I spoke to her during intermission because there was no programme and I had to find out the titles of some of the songs. She quipped in her charming way and asked, "Is this a test?" as she enumerated the songs I listed above. Shelley Jennings on Electric Guitar was also fantastic in her own shy way, as she also strummed and sang along with Ferron. And Darryl Havers on Keyboards was really good. One thing about the band was that each instrumentalist blended in so well with Ferron's guitar-playing and her singing. No one was trying to outdo anyone. It was just perfect harmony, to coin that overused phrase..

I look forward to seeing her again when whe drops by in her ol' hometown, Vancouver! Ferron now lives in Michigan, attending college and giving workshops. She'll be travelling back to the USA to perform at the.Ohio Lesbian Festival on September 13th. To get more info on her workshops, tours, etc., check out ferrononline.com and Sound and Furies.

© 2008 Ed Farolan