Move over Dave Matthews, Duff Ferguson is nipping at your heels with the aptly named “Good Things”… ALL ACCESS MAGAZINE Review

Duff-Ferguson-good-thingsMelodic, mindful and memorable… ”Good Things” is cd player worthy.

While not a screaming rock tour de force or low key offering- Ferguson falls somewhere in the middle delivering crafty, hook laden pop that has polished lyrics and solid, engaging vocals. Ferguson also knows how to keep it tight and not overt – 10 tracks eek out a 35 minute cd that leaves you exactly where it should – wanting more.

Good Things follows Duff’s 2005 EP 400 Miles, which was named one of the top 25 releases in 2005 by an unsigned band in Music Connection Magazine. Duff’s solo touring has taken him up and down the West Coast and to Arizona several times, performing at colleges, clubs, festivals, coffeehouses, and house concerts as well as on network television and radio along the way. MTV licensed his song “Sigh” in 2007 which is more than likely just the beginning.

 

4 Stars –

by Kim Thore

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Americana UK Review of Good Things

Duff-Ferguson-good-thingsPolished west coast power pop – shallow and pretty.

Pop was never meant to be a thing of deep meaning and contemplation and ‘Good Things’ is certainly true to that template. Simple tunes with catchy choruses and sunny dispositions imbue this short cd (35 mins) with a great sense of optimism and good will. The title track is so joyous it could be a theme tune for some new age radio programme espousing the arrival of nirvana. Duff Ferguson has released 5 EPs prior to this one and the sound is polished with all production boxes ticked and musicians drilled. The vocals are deceptively assured and each track has its own identity.

These are indeed songs that would sit on the soundtrack to most TV and cinema releases without sounding out of place. If you want to tap your fingers on the roof whilst heading down the road it’s fine but if you want a song to grab you and touch you either with pain or pleasure then you should give Duff a few more years. He will write a killer song but he hasn’t yet.

– Kevin Hargreaves

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CD of the Day: Absolute Powerpop Review of Good Things

Duff-Ferguson-good-thingsGood Things is certainly an appropriate title, and it’s a quality disc of California pop…

As much as I like to be up on the latest power pop releases, a few always manage to slip through the cracks. Back in early 2005, I bought an EP titled 400 Miles by an artist named Duff, and enjoyed it. But I never heard about Duff again, and chalked it up to a case of another one-and-done artist. Well it turns out that the Duff of 400 Miles is actually Californian Duff Ferguson, and he released Good Things in mid-December of last year, which only came to my attention in recent weeks.

Good Things is certainly an appropriate title, and it’s a quality disc of California pop on which Ferguson is helped out by a couple of favorites around these parts, Todd Herfindal of The Meadows (who has his own solo album about to come out) and Rich McCulley who co-produce.

The bright sound and swelling choruses of the title track and “We Will Escape” let you know all you need to know of Good Things’ sound. The Meadows is an obvious reference point, and there’s also a hint of the recent Mikal Blue disc in there as well. “The Things That Lovers Do” rocks a bit harder, but not too hard – much in the vein of The Jayhawks on Smile, while “One Day at a Time” recalls Del Amitri. “Make It Right” is another pop gem, and “Never Enough” shows that Ferguson has a way with the slower numbers as well. And Jeff Larson is probably somewhere out there wondering how he never wrote “Forever California”.

As the British would say, there isn’t a duff track on this disc, so get off yours and give this one a listen.

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Now This ROCKS! Review of Good Things

Duff-Ferguson-good-thingsSince we feature a lot of AOR and power pop, we cover a lot of releases that are brimming with positivity, inspiration, and feel good music. Duff Ferguson can certainly join the ranks of such artists, but could also be a contender to be their leader.

Duff Ferguson’s full-length debut, “Good Things” is aptly named; most of the tracks are instant pick me ups in lyric and spirit, with excellent musicianship and well-crafted harmonies – good things indeed. An impressive list of guests who are no strangers to fans of power pop grace this release, including Todd Herfindal (Meadows), guitarist Tony Gilkyson (Bob Dylan), bassist Taras Prodanuik (Lucinda Williams).

The record will snap you out of the blues right at the get-go, with soaring tracks like “We Will Escape” and “Good Things”, jangling with power pop goodness. “One Day at A Time” is an infectious romp through James territory. Duff is also an engaging vocalist on the rare moments when he slows it down for tender moments like the breezy “Never Enough”. There is a new state anthem to be had in the driving “Forever California”, and a new wedding song in the sincerely sweet song, “Marry Me”. And for you Aimee Mann fans, there are a couple of tracks where Duff is cloudy, such as “Never Enough” and the woeful “Valentine’s Day”. But these are tunes all of us relate to at one point; Duff’s decision to end the CD on positive notes underscores how hope is the way to triumph and happiness.

Duff Ferguson plays some of the most positive pop rock I’ve heard since The Galaxies. Fans of The Meadows and Scot Sax: take note of Duff’s stuff.

iPOD-worthy: 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 9

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Americana UK Review of 400 Miles

cover-400miles-landscapeLA based singer-songwriter Duff gives us 5 songs on this EP which lie on the poppier side of rock.

The opening track “Suddenly” begins promisingly with an Al Kooperesque swirl of organ before the band kicks in and Duff sings a love song that is reminiscent of the type of fare that the likes of Darius would offer. The title song is better, a ballad about a dead lover with Duff putting some emotion into his singing and some nice guitar and organ pinning the tune. A bit more muscle and grit would not go amiss.

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Left Off the Dial Review of 400 Miles

cover-400miles-landscape

No doubt he has the people swaying in the aisles in a live setting…

Harmless, if not a little bratty, Duff peddles light, rootsy pop, and it works most of the time here on this five-song EP.  Suddenly and Adrenaline are pleasant enough, and no doubt he has the people swaying in the aisles in a live setting.

He tries tough on You Can Try, but after the first three songs, its hard to imagine him as wild.  Its about as hard as a puppy.  Lets hope hes singing about an older brother.  No, he seems much more suited to the sweet pathos of 400 Miles and Sigh.  You can believe these songs vivid portraits of a man on the verge on the verge of what? Not even he knows, but we’ll find out in a few years.

– Gary Knight

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