Singer-songwriter Melissa Ferrick was joking around from the stage of The Linda in Albany. She was relieved that the song that she was about to play – culled from the repertoire of the Postal Service, led by Ben Gibbard in his pre-Death Cab For Cutie days – was based on a three-chord progression. “Easy,” she exclaimed with a smile.
Ferrick’s spirited performance mix of originals and a handful of covers was far from easy on Sunday evening at The Linda. It had some of the acoustic guitar prowess and intensity of Patty Larkin and the vocal range and passion of Dar Williams. But Ferrick is clearly her own woman – an almost twenty-year folk veteran of the road who has honed her craft in coffeehouses, cafes, concert halls and folk festivals throughout the country.
While taking requests, Ferrick exchanged light-hearted banter with audience members – especially an eleven-year-old girl sitting in the middle of the front row. At one point in the set, the child requested her favourite song, “Glycerine.” Ferrisck obliged, and that haunting melody, as well as other songs drawn from a dozen or so of Melissa’s albums, including “Willing To Wait,” “In The Eyes Of Strangers” and “Other Side,” were beautifully performed that night.
Opener Mel Blum presented an impassioned set very much in the vein of Ani DiFranco, which thoroughly warmed up the large audience for the night’s headliner.
Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk