Singer-songwriter and guitarist Alison Ferrier releases her third long-play album What She Knows, a crafted collection of atmospheric folk, laid-back country and rockin’ blues.
Boosted by Ferrier’s clever electric riffs, What She Knows taps into her early British blues and rock influences, including Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones, while her lyrically rich, slow-build country numbers are reminiscent of Lucinda Williams. Ferrier’s voice is unadorned and inviting, singing songs of nostalgia and the human condition, with observations on the universal emotions of everyday life.
First single ‘Waiting For The Rain‘ has all the hallmarks of a great country rock ‘n’ roll song, with its driving chorus, killer pedal steel and laid-back grooves. It’s airy, spacious mix gives plenty of room for your thoughts to wander as the highway opens up ahead.
Alison puts a punk-fuelled rocket underneath her new traditional Appalachian folk song ‘The Cuckoo‘. Her smooth vocal is offset by the bands’ raw energy and capped off by her psychedelic electric fuzz guitar solo. The lead fuzz guitar in the spacious track ‘Once had a Love’ (think, Dylan’s Time out of Mind) is another example that Ferrier is taking her playing to an impressive new level and perhaps hinting at a new rockier direction.
Equally impressive are the musicians who played on the album: Jeff Lang (Ferrier’s husband) on guitars (electric, slide and 12-string); Ben Franz (The Waifs) on electric bass and pedal steel; Jason Bunn on viola; and Danny McKenna (Mia Dyson, Jeff Lang) and Ash Davies (Lisa Miller, Matt Walker) on drums.
A boon to the making of What She Knows was Ferrier winning a day’s recording during the RRR Radiothon. “It was such a brilliant stroke of luck and excellent timing! I certainly put it to good use,” says Ferrier, who powered through six songs (live with the band) at Head Gap Studio in Preston, recorded by Finn Keane. Further recording was done at The Enclave Recording Facility, engineered by Lang, who also produced the album. The album’s front-cover artwork is an ink drawing by Melbourne-based visual artist Elyss McCleary.
Ferrier is a prolific songwriter and talented guitarist, performing regularly in Melbourne with some of the town’s best musicians, including her recent collaboration on Bluebirds, an album with Suzannah Espie, Kerri Simpson and Barb Waters. Her debut album Sugar Baby, was released in 2012, followed by Be Here Now in 2015.
Alison will launch the album on Sunday 25 February at The Workers Club in Fitzroy, with special guests Harry Jakamarra and Alysia Manceau.