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Melissa Ferrick
Melissa Ferrick +1
Hidden Water Records

1993 saw the release of Melissa Ferrick's stellar debut album, Massive Blur. An intelligent, witty, and well written collection of amazingly diverse songs, it was narrowly topped by its follow up, 1995's Willing To Wait. A more subtle album, with less production and mostly acoustic arrangements, Willing to Wait revealed the further development of a distinct musical talent. Then her label, Atlantic, dropped her. Since then the only way to hear any new recorded music was to pick up a cassette at her concerts entitled Made Of Honor, an eight song EP featuring only Ferrick on vocal and guitar.

That was the only way until now. With the release of Melissa Ferrick +1 (the title refers to how names and guests are noted on some guest lists), listeners can again hear Ferrick's lucid song writing, this time performed live. Like Made Of Honor, Melissa Ferrick +1 features only Ferrick on vocals and guitar, presenting a selection of songs from her first two albums (Massive Blur and an fierce version of Blue Sky Night from Massive Blur and 'Till Your Dead and the title track from Willing To Wait), several tracks from Made Of Honor, and some new compositions. Hearing Ferrick live reveals that she is an even better guitarist than her albums have shown, though her solo performances and intensity in some tracks will draw inevitable comparisons to the other Melissa in rock, who also likes to perform solo acoustic.

Unlike many live albums that emerge after numerous albums and showcase notable songs from these albums, this album serves more as a way of showing that Ferrick is still alive and kicking, still writing good songs and performing them. And while there would be some glaring omissions if this were a typical live album, such as Love Song or Falling On Fists, what you get instead are new songs and live versions of tracks previously available only on cassette.

And be sure to keep this album playing beyond the last track or else you'll miss a treat: a fully produced song follows, adding to the anticipation for Ferrick's next studio release.

Copyright © 1997 J. A. Gilbert e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Melissa Ferrick articles/reviews: Everything I Need, Goodbye Youth.

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