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Jennifer Ferguson


Country of origin:

South Africa

Type of music generally:

Folk-flavoured slightly edgy pop

Status:

She is apparently playing live again and there are rumors of upcoming recordings.

See also:

Answer.com's info on Jennifer Ferguson

Comparisons:

Rainbirds, Heidi Berry

Covers/own material:

Own, some co-written songs

General comments:

I first heard of her from a compilation album she was on. It's called Forces Favorites and consists of several South African acts singing songs protesting apartheid and enforced conscription into the South African Defense Force which was responsible for enforcing apartheid laws. It was released by Rounder Records in America (#4023) on LP. I've never seen it on CD. The song that Jennifer sings is called "Suburban Hum" and it's 7 minutes and 14 seconds full of powerful images; vulnerability, confusion, sarcasm, wit, defiance and sadness. It's quite amazing, and even though apartheid has officially been dismantled in SA, the song still packs a wallop. (vickie@enteract.com)

Her music veers toward the mainstream pop edge of things, but the songs have slightly more complex structures than the average in that area. I would say she's quite a good songwriter, along the lines of, say, the less edgy songs of Katerina Franck of Rainbirds or the slightly more edgy songs of Heidi Berry. I'm probably missing some more likely comparison here. She has a lovely, rich voice and uses it in various ways appropriate to the song from whispering to truly belting it out. Hers is the kind of music that you can use as a background to a task or listen to it more closely and it rewards both. It doesn't demand attention but doesn't wither under it either. The bad news is that apparently she has left music and gone into politics. (Neile)

She's really good, very Ecto, and as far as I know, only available in SA. (nightwol@dircon.co.uk)

Recommended first album:

Hand Around The Heart seems to be the only material currently available

Recordings include:


Hand Around The Heart

Release info:

1986; reissued 1994 [no date on cd]—Shifty Records/Tic...Tic...Bang!—BANGCD 005

Availability:

In South Africa, and some online sellers carry it

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended for pop fans

Group members:

Jennifer Ferguson—vocals, piano, synthesizer

Guest artists:

Peter Mclea—arrangement, synthesizers
Scorpion—alto sax
Lloyd Ross—percussion
Edi Niederlander—extra vocals, guitar
John Blundell—guitar
Spiro Paxinos—bass
Ian Herman—drums, percussion
Cast of "Township Boy"—background vocals
Rashid Lanie—piano
Gerard o'Brien—guitar
Victor Masondo—bass
Lloyd Martin—drums

Comments:

I fell in love with "Suburban Hum" on a sampler long ago, and had been looking for her work ever since. It took me a while and a lot of email exchanges but I finally got this. It seems to be a compilation of her work. At first I thought it was going to be pretty conventional, but her songs always take an unexpected turn, and her songs and her voice have warmth that is catching. Delightful. Sentimental but not sappy. (Neile)

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DISCLAIMER: Comments and reviews in the Ectophiles' Guide are excerpted from the ecto mailing list or volunteered by members of the list. They are the opinions of music enthusiasts, not professional music critics.

Entry last updated 2010-03-24 00:50:47.
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