By Adam Brazeau
CORNWALL, Ontario - Jesse Ferguson’s third album, Shift, reveals the contrast of an artist scaling back from a traditional sound for ten years of original content.
The Cornwall-native, living in Cape Breton, is a published poet and a Celtic singer/songwriter with a sturdy internet following. The ‘Jesse Ferguson’ YouTube channel has racked up three million hits.
His newest album is a 13-track introduction into his lyrical identity. Shift establishes Ferguson’s knack for independent recording, producing and mastering, as his voice soars without the familiarity of well-known sing-along tracks.
“Writing poetry is a lot more intellectual and songwriting is more down to earth,” said Ferguson. “I guess that’s both sides of me.”
Tracks on the album shift pace from acoustic love ballads to country-esque, while serving a poetic treat for his loyal fanbase.
“There’s some continuity, so they didn’t think I abandoned them,” said Ferguson.
Song 10 is a poem by John Keats, ‘La Belle Dame sans Merci’ put to an original melody.
“I thought it would appeal to my Celtic fans,” he said.
For him, the main thrust of this record is a singer and his guitar, accompanied by good lyrics and simplified orchestration.
“I don’t want listeners to learn anything from the album,” said Ferguson. “That kind of music wouldn’t appeal to me either.”
Instead, the 30-year-old musician hopes his music will make audiences “remember some of their own experiences and have an emotional connection.”
Tracks include ‘If The Fates Allow,’ ‘In Old Montreal,’ ‘Zombie Love,’ and ‘Aubade (Roll Out Of Bed).’ Standout songs like ‘At The Back Of My Mind’ and ‘A Lifetime Of Tonight’ are genuine and resonate over an addictive melody.
“I try to avoid meaningless lyrics,” he said. “Shift collects the best of what’s been written over the last ten years.”
Ferguson is excited to be giving his fans fresh material, while carving out a brand new audience.
“I’m dedicated as a musician to recording and getting this album out to people who might enjoy it,” he said.
Ferguson, who writes his songs with guitar in hand, is looking forward to a future gig at a Celtic Pipes and Drums concert event in Las Vegas. Until then, he has a slew of performances scheduled in Nova Scotia.
Ferguson currently works at Cape Breton University teaching essay writing. He has a three-year-old son, Brennan, with his wife and high-school sweetheart, Laura. They moved to Sydney, NS a few years ago.
In 2009, he published a book of poetry, entitled Harmonics. In the spring of 2014, he will be publishing another.
Visit CDbaby.com, Amazon mp3.com. or iTunes to purchase Shift and other Jesse Ferguson projects. Visit www.jessefergusonmusic.com to get more information.