The Sound Cafe
Acclaimed Songwriter Gary Ferguson Shares Newest Album 'Ferguson's Farewell' (The Irish Connection)
A five-time finalist in the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at MerleFest, Gary Ferguson is an acclaimed songwriter best known for the Larry Sparks hit, “Last Day at Gettysburg,” which has been recorded around the world from Japan to France and the Czech Republic.
Gary toured Ireland from 2005 to 2019 and through most of those years he performed with the husband and wife team Colin and Janet Henry. During those tours he also shared the stage with some of the best of Irish songwriters like Charlie McGettigan, Frankie Lane, Niall Toner, Mary Greene and indeed Janet Henry herself.
The newest album, “Ferguson's Farewell” (The Irish Connection) brings all of this together with a collection of songs co-written with each of these great Irish writers and more. 11 songs in total with the instrumental title track written by Colin Henry”
Colin Henry, from Ballyrobert in Ireland relates the story of how the making of this album unfolded: "To say that you never know what is around the corner is in current times a cliché we perhaps could do without but, in good times or bad, like all clichés it contains a kernel of truth. So it was in the good times of July 2007 that Gary Ferguson found himself at the Athy Bluegrass Festival in County Kildare, Ireland.
Among the headline acts that year was Gary Ferguson and his dobro playing partner Dave Miner. I knew of Gary Ferguson from my copies of Bluegrass Unlimited. He was a big deal. Bluegrass songwriter, bluegrass singer, bluegrass band leader all the way from the USA. Of course it will come as no surprise that the man I really wanted to meet was Dave the dobro player. Meet we did in the back lounge in the hotel just before their Saturday night gig. Gary, Dave, my wife Janet and myself. I think we played only a couple of songs, Janet sang. It was all that was needed, the bend in the road was just coming into view. They headed off to complete their tour but Gary and I kept in touch and in February 2008 we hit the curve. I got an e-mail from Gary, Dave had suddenly and tragically died. I got another e-mail, would I partner him on his 2008 tour of Ireland that was already in the planning. I spoke to Janet.
This was a major US singer-songwriter who had played with some of the best dobro players in the world. He was a personal friend of Mike Auldridge one of my dobro heroes. Could I pull it off, I wasn't sure I could. Well twelve years later and a good few tours down, something must have worked. I will confess that it all nearly ended at the first rehearsal in the hotel bedroom in Donegal. We were tired, we were hung over. I learnt the intro note for note off the cd but Gary said I wasn't getting it right. (I later learnt the intro on the cd was wrong) We left it there and decided to wing it at the gig that night and it was one of the best gigs of the whole tour. From the first note to now we seemed to be a good fit. His songs, his singing, my style made for a good blend. But, as I say, cliché or not, there is always another corner to turn. It has been a longer corner than first expected but sadly I think we are round it now and hence Ferguson's Farewell. I can only say thanks to Gary for the experience and the friendship. I saw more of Ireland in that first tour than I had seen in my entire life! Most of all it was fun and in these uncertain times we all need some of that! " - Colin Henry, Ballyrobert, 2020.