HearYa Session 7: Ferraby Lionheart

by Kevin on October 3, 2007

As Oz so lovingly put it, “I’d rather the artists (sic) make the money they deserve and continue to put out quality music … instead of answering phones in a cubicle.” Selling out in the indie world has been a long debated topic, yet when it comes down to it, the artists need money. Even if it is only to continue making music. Whether through CD sales, touring, merchandise, or — GASP! — commercialization, bills need to be paid.

With a reading of the script and his artistic consent, Ferraby Lionheart signed the dotted line and his song was played during last week’s episode of Gossip Girl. The world didn’t implode, black wasn’t white, up wasn’t down and maybe most surprising of all, his music still sounded the same. And while millions of viewers heard Ferraby’s song for the first time while watching the CW on Wednesday, 175 crammed into Schuba’s to see him live.

I was a bit in both groups. The Monday before the Live Session, e-mails amongst the writers began circulating as we tried to figure out who could make it to the studio. Oz was trapped on the West Coast 2,100 miles away. It was even further for Woody who was sunning in Cabo and Drinking Buddy had something called “Work.” So, as the only remaining Chicagoan, it was up to me. This was the first I’d heard of Ferraby Lionheart.

Already running behind schedule, Ferraby and the guys cabbed it to Shirk’s and quickly set up. On mostly borrowed equipment, they banged out the fastest, yet tightest Live Session we’ve ever had. Two songs with Ferraby playing guitar and then two with the borrowed Wurlitzer… and then they were gone (at least out of the studio).

We rode the always dependable (bitter sarcasm) CTA north to Schuba’s. Drummer, Jay, was excited to finally see the Marina City Towers made famous by Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot album cover. Despite our good intentions, Schuba’s didn’t appreciate our lateness to the sound check but Ferraby rocked the completely empty room, albeit with slurred and madeup lyrics. After a dinner, a shared a plate of macaroni and cheese, and a few cups of coffee, it was time for the show.

Schuba’s, more packed than most weekends, brimmed with people. Drinking Buddy, who actually arranged the Live Session, finally showed up and joined me in the middle of the crowd. Ferraby’s set was excellent and his songs took on a different feel under the lights along with a slide pedal and real piano. After the show and some time at the merch table, the guys quickly (I’m sure you’ve spotted the trend at this point) packed up the van and left town. They had to be in Ann Arbor or Detroit (they weren’t sure which) by 8am for a radio show. Once again, all for free and in the good name of self promotion.

Though the tours and sales at shows certainly help, The Gossip Girl gig really pays the bills. Despite this, however, not all offers are accepted. A line is drawn. It’s different for each artist, but they decide on where their craft can be seen or heard. So next time you see an ad for a Mexican beer not named Atlantico, remember that it’s not Ferraby Lionheart’s song playing in the background.

Exclusive: Ferraby Lionheart – Under the Texas Sky

Exclusive: Ferraby Lionheart – A Crack in Time

Exclusive: Ferraby Lionheart – Car Maker

Exclusive: Ferraby Lionheart – Small Planet

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Shirk October 4, 2007 at 8:30 am

Nice write-up. Glad they had a good turnout….not that I’m surprised. Wish I could have made the show. These guys have a lot going for them. I wasn’t too familiar with Ferraby’s work until we did this session last week. His album is great. Being a studio dork, I was interested to read on the nettwerk site, that he tracked his whole album in his small LA studio apartment. (With the exception of one song, which was recorded in the kitchen.) Nice work Ferraby…sounds fatastic. As far as our live session cuts go, I love the restraint Ferraby and the band exhibit. No one overplays. They keep it really straight forward and simple and it works so well.

Oz October 4, 2007 at 8:31 am

Nice work Shirk. Once again, everything sounds great.

Congrats to Ferraby for getting his work placed in a TV show. It’s the best way to amass legions of fans and he deserves it.

Jeff October 4, 2007 at 6:22 pm

I like this because his songs are well written and Ferraby and his cohorts are not getting in the way of the music. They’re just letting great songs take care of themselves.

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