“Massy Ferguson have put together an excellent mix of rock and country twang on their very impressive debut record" -- John Richards 90.3FM KEXP Morning Show Host (US), Producer
"Run It Right into The Wall is a solid slice of gritty roots rock music which deserves a listen. The band also have a fine live reputation" -- Blabber n Smoke (UK)
"If you happen to be partial to straight-ahead punch the sky southern roots rock with a side order of beer swilling choruses, then climb aboard and put the pedal down." - Folk Radio UK
"Into the Wall encapsulates everything that is both good about them and this genre: blue collar poetry, a grasp of dynamics, the ability to pare back when necessary and be able to show vulnerability and some experimentation ... MF are the kind of band that are the bedrock of this genre, like Slobberbone or the Ass Ponys they make records that are beautifully crafted and worthy of a wider audience" -- Americana UK
"Yet again Massy Ferguson have been like a ‘breath of fresh air’ again with an excellent set of well constructed and intelligent songs that will appeal to Rockers of all ages and persuasions too." -- Rocking Magpie UK
"(Victory and Ruins) is one hell of a fine album that crackles with instant hooks and melodies, has an effervescence of choruses and boasts a fistful of damn fine blue collar songs into the bargain." Mike Davies, Folk Radio UK
"These are more-than-convincing roots rockers fronted by a convincing and memorable lead singer in Ethan Anderson’s aching heartland growl. There’s Springsteen-esque touches & hints of old Whiskeytown in the mix from this up and coming Pacific Northwest band." - Bruce Warren, WXPN Philadelphia, (US) Producer, Some Velvet Blog
"Feel free to label this band as whatever genre you want. All I know is, the next time I’m driving on an open highway with the windows down, Massy Ferguson’s Run It Right Into the Wall will be the first in my playlist. -- Elmore Magazine (US)
"I've lost track of how many times I've seen Massy Ferguson. I guess that's a sign that I enjoy this band. Their music spans many genres from Americana, roots, folk, twang rock, alt-country, and good ol' rock 'n' roll. The music is two-step friendly, and dancing is always encouraged." - Lisa Knight, No Depression (US)
"Seattle band Massy Ferguson further cement their alt country /roots rock status with another solid new album Victory & Ruins. The thirteen song collection focuses on the easy going narrative vocal styling of Ethan Anderson, who is mix between Tom Petty and Steve Earl." - No Depression (US)
"Massy Ferguson displays a knack for mature and intelligent songwriting, and when slowing the pace, beautifully crafted songs like The Hard Way and Bring Something Back are achingly gorgeous. " - Michael Canter, Jivewired
"First and foremost, Massy Ferguson are a rock band raised on crashing guitars and a driving beat but are not afraid to mix in a bit of refined country to shape their music in true American tradition." Three Chords and the Truth, UK
"Seattle band Massy Ferguson further cement their alt country /roots rock status with another solid new album Victory & Ruins. The thirteen song collection focuses on the easy going narrative vocal styling of Ethan Anderson, who is mix between Tom Petty and Steve Earl." - No Depression Magazine
“Also known as "the People's Band," this roots Americana quartet combines steady, blue-collar alt-country with Southern rock and an everyman ethos that has helped it land gigs all over the world." -- Shawn Telford, Seattle PI
“You know only good things can come from a band that named itself after a farm-equipment company. But they're not as hayseed as you'd expect. Their songs are steeped in the classic Americana of the Blasters, the Jayhawks, and the Backsliders. Rich with imagery of highways, truck-stop coffee, whiskey, road-weariness, and bad motels, Massy Ferguson make cinematic music about the blue-collar aspects of our nation. This is what Jay Farrar might sound like without his thesaurus." -- Brian J. Barr, The Seattle Weekly
“Alt-rocker angst mixed with wry humor ... and some Seattle dive bar name-dropping." -- Mike Lewis, Seattle PI
"They’re also pretty funny guys who, when there’s no other booze in the house, will do shots of Bud Light. -- Kim Nowacki, Yakima Herald
Seattle Times - SXSW 2009
Folk Radio UK
No Depression review
Three Chords and the Truth
Flying Shoes Review
Penny Black Music UK Review
For more than a dozen years, Massy Ferguson have proudly planted their boots on both sides of the country-rock divide, carving out their own brand of amplifed Americana along the way. Based in Seattle, they've become international torchbearers of a sound that's distinctly American, with a touring history that spans nine different countries. On their fifth album, Great Divides, they double down on their rock & roll roots, mixing bar-band twang with raw, guitar-driven bang. Gluing those sounds together is the songwriting partnership of bass-playing frontman Ethan Anderson and guitarist Adam Monda, whose songs spin stories of small-town adolescence, big-city adulthood, and the long miles of highway that stretch between.
Long before Massy Ferguson played their first show 2006, Anderson spent his childhood outside Seattle in the rural reaches of the Pacific Northwest. His parents were strictly religious, and he found himself at the local Pentecostal church almost every weekend, watching as his fellow congregants beat their Bibles and spoke in
tongues. The spirit didn't move him in quite the same way. In search of his own kind of clarity, Anderson turned to music: first to the country and folk artists whose songs reminded him of home, and later to the hard-edged rock bands who ruled the roost in Seattle, where he'd eventually relocate as an adult. Those two stylistic
extremes — country and rock & roll — continue to rear their heads in his music. Anderson's past continues to rear its head, too, and its woven throughout the dark, moody music of Great Divides. Massy Ferguson's records have always sounded cinematic, like a Springsteen-worthy portrayal of blue-collar life in America's
northwestern pocket. If Great Divides continues that tradition, it does so in montage-form, zooming into various scenes of Anderson's life for four minutes at a time. The details are rich, the context is implied, and the writing is stunningly simple, like the literal minimalism of Anderson's favorite authors: Cormac McCarthy, Raymond Carver, Dennis Johnson, and Willie Vlautin. Songs like "Don't Give Up On Your Friends" root themselves in his teenage years, delivering dual blasts of adolescent angst and anthemic, heartland-worthy hooks from the perspective of a boy who's never left the county limits of his hometown. Meanwhile, "Can't Remember" shines a light on Anderson as a 21 year-old Seattle newcomer, drunkenly talking to the cocktail waitress who'd later become his wife. By the time Great Divides reaches its ninth track, Massy Ferguson brings everything full-circle with "Wolf Moon," a song that finds Anderson — no longer an out-of-place teenager, but now an adult with a wife, two children, and perhaps Seattle's roots-rock band — dispensing road-worn advice to his sons.
Don't mistake Great Divides for an Anderson solo project, though. Adam Monda, who helped launch the band in 2006, continues to play an integral role in the songwriting process, contributing melodic ideas and other launchpad ideas. Made complete by contributions from bandmates Dave Goedde and Fred Slater, Great Divides shines its light on dark memories, pivotal moments, small details, and the wisdom gained by years of doing unwise things. Massy Ferguson recorded the album with Martin Feveyear, known for his work with artists like Kings of Leon and Brandi Carlile. Some of the tracking sessions took place at a studio in Seattle. Others were hosted by Feveyear at his home on Vashon Island. Looking to capture a sound that was raw and immediate, the band kept things loose, throwing together arrangements on the spot and finishing lyrics moments before recording them in the vocal booth. As a result, there's an urgency to Great Divides, from its widescreen-worthy anthems to its mid-tempo highlights. This is an album about a man's attempt to understand the world around him, moving from the limited horizons of his childhood to the (slightly) clearer reality of his adulthood. It's the punky, half-cocked confidence of college rock mixed with the hungover honesty of alt-country. In short, it's Massy Ferguson — a band whose electric stomp sounds like the soundtrack to the American Everyman
ARTISTS THEY'VE PLAYED WITH OR SHARED THE STAGE WITH:
Tim McGraw, CamperVan Beethoven, Luke Bryan, Lady Antebellum, Mike Gordon of Phish, Toby Keith, Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, Dodgy, Mary Gouthier, Band of Heathens, Blackberry Smoke, Brad Paisley, Billy Kruetzmann of Grateful Dead, The Bottle Rockets, Larkin Poe, Scott Kanneberg of Pavement, Max Creek, Mark Pickerel of Screaming Trees
CREDITS (among others):
2018 Americana Music Awards, Nashville, TN
2018 Rendezvous in the Park, Idaho US
2017 SummerTyne Americana Festival, Newcastle, UK
2016 Top 50 Americana Radio Charts US
2016 Americana Music Awards, Nashville, TN
2016 Maverick Music Festival, Suffolk, UK
2014 Macefield Festival, Seattle WA
2014 Bumbershoot Festival, Seattle WA
2014 Maverick Music Festival, Suffolk, UK
2014 BBC Nottingham, UK
2013 Watershed Festival, The Gorge, WA, USA
2013, 2012 Triple Door Theater, WA, USA (sold out twice)
2012 Apollo Bay Festival, Victoria, Australia
2012 The Gum Ball, New South Wales, Australia
2011, 2009 Bumbershoot Music Festival, WA, USA
2011 Musikfest, Pennsylvania, USA
2010 Iceland Airwaves Festival, Iceland
2010 Seattle Weekly Favorite REVERB band poll winner
2008 Circus Mexicus, Puerto Pinasco, Mexico
2007 Weisbaden Army Airbase show for the troops of the 1st Armored Tank Division, Germany
You know only good things can come from a band that named itself after a farm-equipment company. But Seattle's Massy Ferguson is not as hayseed as you'd expect. Their songs are steeped in the classic Americana of the Uncle Tupelo, the Jayhawks, and the Backsliders. Rich with imagery of highways, truck-stop coffee, whiskey, road-weariness, and bad motels, Massy Ferguson make cinematic roots music about the blue-collar aspects of our nation. This is what Jay Farrar might sound like without his thesaurus
Singer-bassist Ethan Anderson says the sound is Americana that leans more toward rock than country, and that's a pretty good description. Think Drive-By Truckers or some combination of Son Volt and The Hold Steady. Think Springsteen's "Greetings From Asbury Park" or "Nebraska." Those influences, 1970s Southern rock and good-time classic rock bands like Thin Lizzy, have also helped them to land gigs at festivals and clubs in Australia, Iceland, Germany, England and Mexico.
If all that means Massy Ferguson is derivative, well, that's partly true. It doesn't really matter, though, because the songs, if not particularly groundbreaking, are just plain good. And the lyrics are full of enough detail and imagery that you start to forget any objections. Take, for instance, this bit from "Powder Blue," on the album "Cold Equations":
She worked the desk at the Klose Inn Motel
We snuck in, half-price at a quarter to twelve
Orange juice and vodka in a plastic cup
In a couple of days she'll break my heart.
Now, you've probably never been to the Klose Inn Motel, and your probably don't know this girl from the song, but you can picture it and her.
"You write about things you know," Anderson says. "I used to live across the street from the Klose Inn Motel. No one knows where that is, but in a way it kind of resonates."
Indeed it does. That's thanks to the writing partnership between Anderson and singer-guitarist Adam Monda, Massy Ferguson's founding members. They started the band in 2006 as a duo, playing a farmers market in Mukilteo. (They were paid with a fruit basket.)
"Adam's pretty good with the weird, abstract details, and I'm pretty solid on the storytelling," Anderson says.
Since adding Tony Mann on keyboards and Dave Goedde on drums, the band has graduated from fruit-basket gigs to some of Seattle's most prominent stages, places like The Tractor Tavern, the seat of Seattle's roots-rock Americana scene. They've head lined regionally in Boise, Portland, Spokane, Yakima, gigged in Chicago and Minneapolis. They've toured internationally on numerous occasions and in 2010 managed to get a slot in the prestigious Iceland Airwaves Festival in Reykjavik after winning the Seattle Weekly's 2010 REVERB festival Favorite Band poll. In 2013, they played The Gorge at Watershed Festival, along with more established artists like Toby Keith, Brad Paisley and Luke Bryan. In 2014, they toured the UK for the first time, playing a memorable slot in the americana cred festival Maverick Music Fest and headlined gigs in London (Windmill Brixton) and Sheffield (Greystones) among others. They returned to Maverick Music Festival and the UK in 2016
Additionally, for the first time in any of the band members' history, they signed a record deal. The results of that deal -- two albums, the new album "Victory and Ruins" and the 2010 release "Hard Water" and the accompanying support of Spark & Shine Records -- have the band primed for exposure well beyond Washington State. In 2016, At the Helm Records (UK) released their album "Run It Right Into the Wall", which garnered considerable accolaides in the UK and rose to #58 on the US Americana charts, buoyed by the songs "Gallipoli" and "Dogbone". In Sept. 2016, the showcased at the Americana Music Awards (AMAs) in Nashville, TN.
"We've been very fortunate in a lot of regards," Anderson says. "Considering we started off at the Mukilteo farmers market, I think we're doing pretty well."
And, he says, it's a lot of fun. The band likes playing bars (though not exclusively), likes going on the road. The new album cover, an empty glass laying on its side atop a bar, tells you pretty much all you need to know about what to expect at a Massy Ferguson show.
"Above all, our live show is a lot of fun," Anderson says. "We're in it to have a good time. I think our songs have a certain amount of earnestness and depth, but we did that without sacrificing the fun."
That's important for a bar band, even one with aspirations.
"I don't have a problem with anybody saying we're a good bar band," Anderson says. "Some bands take that as a negative. I think of it as a positive thing."
In that way, Massy Ferguson is a bar band in the best sense -- not a band relegated to bars because it will never rise higher, but a band that plays music perfectly suited to dark, crowded rooms in which there's at least a possibility of a beer glass smashing against a wall.
The songs, filled with barflies, broken hearts and doomed late-night romance, would sound pretty good anywhere, though.
Contributing Writers: Patrick Muir (Yakima Herald), Brian J Barr (Seattle Weekly), Massy Ferguson