Massy Ferguson

Spark & Shine Records, 2010

Insistently local, yet tapping into a national legacy of country and blues rock, Massy Ferguson’s second album Hard Water travels the back roads of Washington and treacherous paths of relationships with guitar, drum, and organ-driven songs.

Dave Goedde ’92, Adam Monda ’94, and Jason “J” Kardong ’94 team up with Ethan Anderson and Tony Mann to play the Seattle-based band’s country-tinged rock reminiscent of The Jayhawks, Bruce Springsteen, and Wilco.

Country and folk rock has surged lately, as bands such as Mumford & Sons earn Grammy nominations and international attention. Massy Ferguson deftly handles the storytelling and musical phrases of roots rock, and fans of the genre will likely embrace the album.

Although I thoroughly enjoyed faster tunes “Pretty Plain Jane,” “Wenatchee Eyes,” and “Freedom County,” the band really shines in the ballad “Dreams of St. Petersburg.” Ethan Anderson’s gravelly voice, like Springsteen’s, melds well with the blue-collar lyrics and the pedal steel guitar licks.

Massy Ferguson has toured around the world and received acclaim from influential Seattle radio station KEXP, Philadelphia’s WXPN, and several music blogs and magazines.