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Melissa Ferrick

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Singer/songwriter Melissa Ferrick emerged in 1994 as part of a group of new female alternative singer/songwriters, much in the vein of Liz Phair. Raised in Ipswich, MA, she began singing in coffeehouses after dropping out of college and eventually wound up in Boston. Her major breakthrough arrived one night when she replaced Morrissey's opening act less than an hour before showtime. Ferrick's performance impressed Morrissey, who invited her to open for him during the rest of the tour. The tour earned her a small cult following, as well as a contract with Atlantic Records. She released her debut album, Massive Blur, in 1994 to good reviews; the critical reception for her stripped-down second album, Willing to Wait, earned even stronger acclaim. Even so, Atlantic dropped her in 1995, prompting Ferrick to go indie by signing with W.A.R.?, a Colorado-based company. She remained with W.A.R.? over the course of several albums -- including Everything I Need, Freedom, and the concert recording +1 -- before taking a lesson from fellow songwriter Ani DiFranco and forming her own label, Right On. Capturing her enigmatic stage persona, Ferrick issued Skinnier, Faster, Live at the B.P.C. in early 2001 and followed its release with a studio album named Valentine Heartache. Releasing albums on her own label proved to be a welcome change of pace, and Ferrick spent the decade issuing a string of studio records and live releases. She also toured regularly, often logging as many as 150 shows per year. After releasing her 14th album, Goodbye Youth, in 2008, Ferrick shifted her focus to the artists who inspired her, resulting in the release of a covers album, Enough About Me, in 2010. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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