Mike Ferry is pleased to release his new original collection, "A
Feather". In this new CD, you will be taken on a fun-loving romp
through a wide range of topics - from a beach vacation, to why we love
our dogs, to that passion deepest in Mike's heart: defending the honor
of rural golfers. After the first song you will know why "everybody
needs... this... album!"
Mike Ferry grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina, where he learned how to play the violin and piano. In high school, he began a six year stint fiddling for Weekend Excursion, a local pop rock band. During his "W.E." years, the band toured throughout the southeastern U.S. and scored several television appearances on "Dawson's Creek" and "The Real World."
Mike moved from Greensboro to UNC-Chapel Hill, where he supervised three runs to the Final Four from his seats in the upper level of the Dean Dome. After college, he settled in the city - no, town - no, forest - of Rockville, Virginia, where he lives with his wife, two sons, and two dogs. He spends his days teaching history and some nights performing with alt-country group, the Atkinsons.
"A Feather" is the first release of Emerald Heel Music, Mike's record label.
- Patrick Kinlaw
"...Ferry plays the keyboards and delivers what he calls 'geek rock for people who laugh.' It all reminds me of something from They Might Be Giants. Oh, you'll laugh...
Ferry writes about everyday life. You know, golfing, coffee, fishing, and, of course, his dog. He sings baritone and enunciates so well it makes me believe a choral director must have been lurking somewhere...
His three instrumentals on his 12-tune, 37-minute CD are interesting. It's electronica for the smart-dance set."
- Jeri Rowe (Greensboro News & Record)
Mike Ferry: Music Man
Ideas fly at Mike Ferry from all angles. They enter his head when he’s driving, when he’s fishing in the pond behind his house, making lesson plans, watching television, teaching, or even standing in line at Starbucks.
“The best ideas often come when you least expect them,” he says. “I can’t stop them sometimes. Occasionally, they’re so good that I frantically find a pen and paper before I lose them. There’re times when it’s overwhelming, but I’d rather be drowned by ideas than be in a desert.”
Ah, the life of a songwriter.
For most of his waking hours, you’ll find Ferry at his day job as a Middle School history teacher, class advisor, and coach of Cub soccer and basketball at Collegiate. While his attention is always focused on the task at hand, though, the musician in him is never far from the surface.
As a 4-year-old, he began classical violin lessons after he saw a picture of young musicians in his hometown Greensboro News & Record and expressed an interest. He started piano instruction when he was 10 and developed a passion so strong that for several years he dreamed of making music his life’s work.
As high school seniors in 1995, he and five friends – a drummer, two guitarists, a bass player, and a lead vocalist – created Weekend Excursion, a pop rock band.
They soon headed off to college – Ferry to UNC-Chapel Hill and the others to Appalachian State – but they met whenever their schedules allowed and gigs within reasonable driving distance presented themselves. Their senior year, armed with an impressive repertoire of original work and covers, they began touring heavily throughout North Carolina. After graduation, they hit the road full-time.
As their popularity increased, especially among the college-aged crowd, they often drew as many as 1,000 fans in some venues around the state. They were even commissioned to provide background music for Dawson’s Creek (on the WB Network), The Real World (MTV), and, most recently, Scrubs (NBC).
“Based on our popularity, we though it would be our career,” he said, “but outside North Carolina we were anonymous.” In 2001, Ferry left Weekend Excursion to get married and enter the real world. Two years later, facing the harsh realities of earning a living through music, the group disbanded. The old friends keep in touch, however, and even gather occasionally as they did December 22 in Raleigh to do reunion shows.
Now, Ferry’s days are no less full than they were a few years back when he dreamed of rock stardom. He’s at Collegiate, it seems, from dawn ‘til dusk, and he juggles family life – he and his wife Jenny Nuckols Ferry '96, a Collegiate Middle School Latin teacher, have two sons, Joseph (4) and Jack (1½) – with graduate work in the interdisciplinary studies program at Virginia Commonwealth University. Several times a month, he plays in various Richmond locales with The Atkinsons, an alternative country group.
About a year ago, he began a record label – Emerald Heel Music – and late last summer released an album entitled "A Feather" for which he did all the writing, performing (keyboard and violin), and vocals. He calls his style “geek rock for people who laugh” and describes it as a blend of The Beatles, Randy Newman, The Cars, and a group called They Might Be Giants. Check it out on www.mikeferrymusic.com. Navigate the website, listen to his offerings, and even type in your thoughts.
With his myriad responsibilities, Ferry finds little time during the school year to create as he’d like, so he fields his ideas, collects his thoughts, and saves them for a rare quiet moment. “I’m constantly bombarded by the rough draft of songs,” he says. “Hours, days, weeks, months, or even years later when I take these disjointed ideas and make them into coherent compositions, it’s really exhilarating.”
— Weldon Bradshaw