CD LIES AND GIN REVIEW on www.bluesmagazine.nl by Iain Patience
Dave Ferra is an English acoustic bluesman with a positive flair and grasp of the tradition that shines through on each successive track in this thirteen-track offering. Around half of the album is self-penned by Ferra, with the addition of covers of John Newton’s Too Many Dirty Dishes, a song made famous by the late Albert Collins and Tab Benoit over the years, Johnny Shines’ Down In Spirit, and the much covered, Sell My Monkey.
The picking is fine, clear and full of Piedmont-style touches and flourishes with occasional slide-work rippling through. Ferra adds some neat electric chops from time to time and finely pitched harp-work to the mix while his gritty vocals hold the whole thing together well. Sell My Monkey, the closing track, includes some quality sax, from Dougie Woodison, and punches along at a fast clip bringing the whole project to a satisfying overall feeling.
The third release I’m aware of from Ferra, ‘Lies & Gin’ is an excellently conceived and delivered album with more than enough quality to keep most lovers of the traditional, acoustic country-blues end of the spectrum happy. An album well worth discovering from a guy worth watching.
Tuesday Night Music Club 12/9/17 by Richard Dunning
With good reason we highlighted Dave Ferra's humour in the run up to his appearance at The Tuesday Night Music Club. But last night he demonstrated that he is an absolute master guitarist and singer too. Combine those attributes with his abilities to lead a band and you have the perfect 'front man'.
All the seats were taken as Dave took to the stage with Rick Kent on drums, 'Dr Bob' on bass and special guest Nigel Feist on harmonica and vocals. They then proceeded to lead us through a masterclass in, what many described as, pure blues. Two sets of beautifully played originals (largely from Dave's new album 'Lies and Gin') and covers interspersed by Dave's humorous introductions had the audience 'chair dancing', smiling and singing along as they were entertained. And there's the important word - Dave is fully aware that people come out not just to listen, but to have a good time. And a good time they had!
Special mention must be made to the combination of Dave and Nigel - this worked a treat. They played off each other and both very obviously enjoyed every moment of the night. Nigels vocals added to the proceedings as he led the audience through a quite raucous Caledonia which prepared us for Dave's later sing along in his tribute to prostitutes, 'Sell My Monkey'. But it wasn't all upbeat - two highlights of the night came in Eric Bibb's 'Where The Green Grass Grows' and Steve Earle's 'My Old Friend The Blues' and the TNMC crowd were pin drop silent as they basked in these beautiful songs.
BLUES MATTERS Nov 2015 by Norman Darwen
DAVE FERRA-AIN’T NO HAND ME DOWN
This is the follow-up to Dave’s debut album Bad Luck Blues, which received some excellent reviews – this one will too, and not just from me, I guess. Dave is an acoustic bluesman par excellence, playing slide guitar or fingerpicking, and blowing rack-harp – well, very well. He has written seven of the dozen tracks on this CD, though keeping within the tradition with titles like Meet Me Down The Alley, What’s Wrong With You, and Tailor Made Woman. The borrowed tunes cover a wide range of blues styles, from Son House’s classic Preaching Blues and Blind Willie McTell’s Love Changing Blues (a beautiful slide guitar performance – why hasn’t this been covered more often?) to Little Walter’s Just Your Fool and on to more modern compositions like Taj Mahal’s The Loving In My Baby’s Eyes and Eric Bibb’s Where The Green Grass Grows. Take a listen to What’s Wrong With You to hear just how good Dave can sound on a ragtime inflected number, I Got Too Thin for a driving 20s Memphis styled performance or Tailor Made Woman for some lovely slide and a very traditional Mississippi sound. So far Dave’s fame seems confined to the south-east of England, but hopefully this accomplished set can help him to expand on that. He has played support act to the likes of Kirk Fletcher, The Blues Band, Babajack, Billy Walton and Nine Below Zero, and I am sure that such discerning audiences cannot fail to have taken notice of such a talented individual in their midst.
Phil Healey (Spooner’s Blues Club)
“Fabulous night; Best this year. Dave had a fantastic rapport with the audience and the whole group transmitted a convivial atmosphere. Well done and thanks for bringing them to Deal."
Andrew Pook (39 steps, review of Broadstairs Blues Bash show)
The Thirty-Nine Steps was privileged to host a superb and highly versatile musician. His command particularly of the ragtime and spiritualist genre, leads to a holistic, motivating and highly enjoyable set. Dave’s easy-going style and undoubted matter-of-fact talent allows him to easily involve the audience, culminating, not surprisingly, in a joint rendition of ‘Swing Low Sweet Chariot’.