Ferrick's brief time on a major label, Atlantic, resulted in one overproduced album, 1993's Massive Blur, and one charming album full of signature songs, 1995's Willing to Wait. Now, she releases albums on her own Right On label. Valentine Heartache is probably her best: it shows off her versatility as a guitarist and the sharpest variations on her favorite themes. But Ferrick seems to realize she's at her best in concert. Her new CD, 70 People at 7000 Feet, is her third live album.
Even more than most singer-songwriters, Ferrick's (and her fans') biggest dilemma is how to sustain a musical career fueled by romantic turmoil. "I'm sick of writing this song / About how love always disappears," she sang toward the end of the show I saw. So I'm happy to report that her last studio album, 2002's Listen Hard, finally proved she's equally talented at writing sweet, optimistic love songs. Let's hope that whatever relationship she was singing about is still going strong when she visits the Ark Sunday, April 18.
[Originally published in April, 2004.]