Local Music Monday: John Ferguson

Sep 19, 2016

In this fresh Local Music Monday WUKY's DeBraun Thomas shines the spotlight on the many facets of multi-instrumentalist John Ferguson.

John Ferguson is a multi-instrumentalist and native of Owensboro, Kentucky who moved to Lexington in 1996.  Both of his parents were musicians who encouraged him to learn, but everything changed when his dad bought him a four track recorder for Christmas.

“I always tell people that I owe my entire career to that four-track and just learning the knobs and learning the principles of recording, how consoles work, how sound recording works, growing up without a band, without friends to play music with, I was forced to be a one man band and I started buying drums and bass, guitars and just playing all the parts myself and then when I went to college here at UK, I ran into people, like myself, had a similar background of  home recording enthusiasts, it only branched out from there.”

In 1998 he formed the band Big Fresh. The group is one of the mainstays of Lexington’s music scene. As a multi-instrumentalist he is called to be part of many different projects, but Big Fresh is band he says, is just as much a part of him as his family.

John Ferguson (L), Robert Schneider (R)
Credit Brian Connors Manke

“It’s something I think I’ll always do, it’s kinda like my kids, or my wife, my family, it’s something I can’t imagine not doing, Big Fresh more than any other project is the most personal as far as, it’s the thing I write a big chunk of the music for, I record it myself and even if every other band in the world fires me, I know I’ll always have Big Fresh.”

In addition to Big Fresh, Ferguson also plays the sideman role in many different bands such as, The Apples In Stereo and Attempt. Ferguson says his goal as a musician and in life, is to be part of something bigger than himself.

“To serve something greater, whether that’s a friend of mine that writes great songs, or a band that’s really killer, I don’t know if you’ve ever played Ping Pong, or table tennis as the pros call it, but I always found that I got better at Ping Pong when I played people that are way better than I am, not vice versa, and so as a musician I look for every opportunity to play with people who are way outta my league and I don’t know if that makes me a musical thief, but I feel like that’s always been a good strategy and it’s always worked and it’s always landed me in roles where I can be of service to those things.”

John Ferguson performs with Big Fresh, The Apples In Stereo, Attempt and FATUFAIRFE. More information about Ferguson and his projects can be found on facebook.