David Ferguson’s voice is full of life, experience and emotion in his new single, ‘Boats to Build’. The Guy Clark and Verlon Thompson-written song is the perfect match for Ferguson’s weary vocal, which is beautifully melodic and engrossing, with a characterful hint of gravel. Ferguson explains what the song means to him: “To me, ‘Boats To Build’ is about breaking free from life’s chains…And doing something you’ve always wanted to do….build a boat or climb a mountain…It’s about change, satisfaction and the feeling of accomplishment.”
The charming video features footage of a variety of boats alongside children creating their own. Director Will Oldham explains: “Ferg called to ask if I’d direct a video for a song from this new collection, and I said, ‘yes.’ He called a week later and said the song was to be ‘Boats to Build’ and that he had an idea: he and my 2-year-old daughter, Poppy, would sit on the floor building boats out of Legos.” Oldham (AKA Bonnie “Prince” Billy) continues: “I met Ferg around 2001 when I went to witness Johnny Cash’s recording of a song I wrote called ‘I See a Darkness’ at Rick Rubin’s Hollywood home studio. Ferg was the man at the mixing board. He both charmed and impressed me greatly. We hooked up again a few years later in Nashville, and have been close friends since then. I love David Ferguson. I especially love how and why he thinks of music. He has zero patience for bullshit and bad music. He hardly has patience for good music, but thankfully he’s found his way to making this beautiful record that truly only a Ferg could have made.” In the past, Ferguson has collaborated with the likes of Johnny Cash, Sturgill Simpson and John Prine, picking up a couple of Grammy Awards along the way for his work as a sound engineer. Now, he’s finally stepping into the spotlight and, surprisingly, this is his first ever video.
This single is taken from David Ferguson’s forthcoming album, ‘Nashville No More’, which is due for release on 3rd September. At a time when a sense of freedom has been hard to come by, this is a well-chosen song that offers some hope for the future. Ferguson delivers those well-known opening lines with heart and with soul: “It’s time for a change // I’m tired of that same old same…It’s days, precious days // They roll in and out like waves.” We can look forward to some big changes by then.