SongVault Artist Profile
California, United States
Indie Pop / Indie Rock
DUFF FERGUSON's "confident, honeysweet tenor voice" (Music Connection Magazine) always walks a strong melodic path through his inventive, hooky melodic pop songs. Whether performing solo or with his eponymous band, Duff kicks out an infectious, highly personal show with "outrageously deceptively perfect vocals" (Smother) as if Rufus Wainwright were fronting Wilco. Folkworks Magazine has hailed Duff as "one of LA's best."
Duff’s fifth EP, 400 MILES, showcases a distinctive songwriting talent gaining traction quickly through performances at colleges, festivals, clubs and coffeehouses, alongside indie press raves, television appearances, and radio play. Debuting on Los Angeles’s KPFK-FM, KCRW-FM, and KCSN-FM radio, the new record brims with music and energy powered by a band described as a "magnificent rock outfit" (Smother) and "one of the tightest groups I've seen this year" (South Bay Music Scene). In December 2005, Music Connection Magazine featured 400 MILES as one of the “Top 25 Demos of 2005,” a list of their highest rated records by unsigned artists. In January 2007, MTV used his song "Sigh" on their reality show "24/7".
Driving the songs over the top is the delicious combination of Duff's heartfelt vocals and shimmering harmonies from Portland singer Teri Untalan (Lush Life Players, Buckethead). The ghostly title track 400 Miles, which echoes with lonely guitar and B3 organ, is a "sad tale of desperate devotion that gets even more intriguing by the sudden revelation of said girl being dead and buried in the ground" (Cracked). B3 organ also rings out in the record opening Suddenly, a radio single with a bouncy guitar groove and a sunny tale of falling in love with a best friend. Close on its heels is Adrenaline, a hip shaking train beat tune with dueling twang guitars that jokingly chastises a friend who is living life a bit too high. Duff pulls out his bag of rock tricks on You Can Try, a proud statement of independence from an overbearing girlfriend, packing it thick with meaty guitar licks. Closing the record is the plaintive Sigh, exposing the lonely life of the singer over simple acoustic guitar and atmospheric slide guitar.
In the past year, Duff has shared stages with artists such as Anna Nalick, Tom Freund, Garrin Benfield, and Randy Weeks. He has been interviewed and played live on KPNX-TV NBC Phoenix, KCTN-TV San Diego, KPFK-FM Los Angeles, and KPIG-FM Monterey.
Duff was born in New York City to a musical family and grew up singing in church choirs and school musicals before discovering rock guitar in his teens. Duff performed as a solo artist and session musician in Manhattan while studying acting and songwriting with Mark Barkan (Elvis, Rod Stewart), and he recorded three EPs before moving to San Francisco in 2000. In 2001, Duff collaborated with acoustic bassist Hans Glawischnig (David Sanchez, Ken Hatfield) on a series of duo recordings. He also toured over 20,000 miles as a lead guitarist with bands such as Single and the Rich McCulley Band.
Duff is currently wrapping up a new full-length record with producers Todd Herfindal (Single, The Meadows) and Rich McCulley to be released in mid 2007. The record includes guest performances by some of Duff's most admired friends in the Americana scene, including Tony Gilkyson, Mike Stinson, Heather Waters, and Taras Prodaniuk.