Seems like a lot’s been up with Class of ’06 BTW Ferraby Lionheart since we heard from him last. In a long letter penned To Whom It May Concern, the Cali-based folkie explains that he’s not quite Cali-based anymore. After finally “arriving” in L.A., eight years after having arrived in L.A., it was time for a move — to Sweden, then to Nashvile — to patch up a broken heart and find a new muse for his jangle. That inspiration came at the bottom of a box of old letters from the ’40s in Tennessee. Cue the epistolary title, to this first track, “Dear Corinne,” all rimclicks and Wurly and old-timey lover’s allusions. Ferraby Lionheart is his real name, btw.
Ferraby’s got some shows ahead, including a residency at Pianos.
02/02 – New York, NY @ Pianos
02/09 – New York, NY @ Pianos
02/12 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s w/The French Kicks
02/16 – New York, NY @ Pianos
02/23 – New York, NY @ Pianos
02/24 – Cambridge, MA @ T.T. The Bear’s w/ Jason Isbell, Deertick
03/18-21 – Austin, TX (SXSW)
Now roll up your sleeves and dig into the full-blown tale behind the “Dear Corrine” sessions:
Los Angeles was good to me; it gave me a life to feel lucky for. I went from serving pizza in a late night Hollywood hole, to making good money for my music in films. It took maybe eight years or so, drifting along in a comfortable California breeze. With a sky too blue to imagine, and girls too sexy to ignore, Los Angeles became my home. It became where I would grow up. I was poor, and I was rich. I was alone, and I was part of a scene. It was wonderful, and it was disgusting.
And now I feel old.
I remember feeling young, and it was distinctly different.
So I left. I went to Sweden. They have a cheese factory there. I needed a place to think, and begin writing for a new album. I thought going far from home would do a good trick, but it didn’t work all that well. It was fine. I felt like a foreigner, which was sort of fun.
I toured the UK, and ended up back in Nashville visiting the family. This is where I was a child. This was my first home. And it felt right. I felt a fresh energy about being alive, so I decided to stay for a while. I packed everything I could fit into my minivan and small trailer back in Los Angeles (with four strong Mexican men from outside U-Haul’s help loading the piano), kissed my best friend goodbye, and drove away. My heart was broken, but it is usually that way.
Driving the countryside has become a cherished part of living. It’s a lucky thing to do I think. I wouldn’t want to miss out on El Paso at 5:30 AM, or Missoula, Montana in the spring. So I made my way back to Tennessee. I rented a house. In LA I had to worry about parking, but in Nashville I have a yard that turns orange in the fall. I would make a studio in the house and start work on a new album. What a good place to be.
In Tennessee, it’s pretty much the country if you want. Drive half an hour any direction from Nashville and it’s small town for sure. So I like going to antique shops, or old junk stores and looking for relics. My brother took me to a horse field and I found an old rusty horseshoe. Maybe 80 years old. When I was a kid, some friends lived on old battlegrounds from the civil war and would sometimes find canon balls in their backyard. We didn’t have any.
My favorite is finding family photos from the 30’s and 40’s. Taking a picture was a much more precious thing to do back then I suppose. Everyone is usually pretty excited, and well dressed. I try to imagine what the occasion might be. My best friend was in Seattle and she found an old box of family letters in an antique shop desk. They were dated from the early 40’s to the 60’s. Letters from daughters and sons, grandfolks and lovers, some sweet and some sad. Letters from secret affairs, longing and forgiveness. It’s really something. I decided to make the album about the letters, so I asked Dawn to send them to me. And she did.
Look for the new album, out this summer.