Melissa Ferrick says she's blessed with a rare kind of relationship with her audience. Her live performances are both fierce and funny, outspoken and vulnerable, and always passionate. Ferrick's been gaining fans since her first release at age twenty-two on Atlantic Records. Her next three recordings were released by the indie label What Are Records. In 2000, Melissa launched her own label, Right On Records. Her newest CD, In the Eyes of Strangers is the label's sixth release.
A full-blown studio affair produced by Ethan Allen (Throwing Muses, Patty Griffin, 60 Ft. Wave), In The Eyes of Strangers is as passionate as previous Ferrick releases, but has more urgency. It also marks a personal and professional departure for Ferrick. Her last release, The Other Side was a completely self-made project; Ferrick produced, engineered and played every instrument. The new album is more collaborative, featuring drummer Daren Hahn (Ani DiFranco, Eels, Break Mechanics), keyboardist Julie Wolf (Bruce Cockburn, Ani DiFranco, Dar Williams) and friends Tegan Quin (Tegan and Sara), Erin McKeown, Natalia Zukerman and Rachael Davis.
Ferrick recently set up a direct digital download from her Web site. "For six dollars or more, people bought six acoustic versions of the songs that are on the new record," she says. "So half of this record was funded by my fans. One fan donated all of the expenses of the recording studio."