New Album Has Arrived 

I've just received my new album, Across The Troubled Wave.  I'm so pleased with the way it sounds and looks.  The packaging is  fantastic - two pockets, one with a pull-out wallet in which the CD is enclosed, the other with a 24 page booklet including lyrics, photos and lots of information about the individual tracks.  I'm releasing it in a few weeks - very excited!    

You can hear songs from the album on this website or at

Preview Track From New Album on Myspace 

My new album, Across The Troubled Wave, has now been mastered and the final tweaks are being made on the design. I can confirm a release date of 20th July. If you'd like to hear a preview of the closing track, Hard Times Come Again No More, by Stephen Foster, go to my Myspace webpage: Whilst most of the songs on this album are traditional, there are a few by known writers such as Foster and Robert Burns.

Roy Bailey's New Album with Two Of My Songs!!! 

I'm delighted that two of my songs feature on Roy Bailey's latest album: Below The Radar. Roy has covered Take Me Out Waltzing Tonight and Visions Of Our Youth. I also sing on the album. It's a great collection of mostly contemporary songs with some great players from the English traditional music scene: Martin Simpson, John Kirkpatrick, Donald Grant, and Andy Cutting (produced by Andy Seward). You can find out more about the album (even buy it!) at

Gigs with Kim Edgar & Yvonne Lyon 

It's been a great spring so far.  I had my first gig with Kim Edgar and Yvonne Lyon which went very well (read our first review below).  It's been fun collaborating with these two very gifted songwriters and musicians and we look forward to more shows together (Glasgow Americana Festival on May 21st, Torphichen Summer Nights in Torphichen, West Lothian on June 7th - see Gigs page)

Edinburgh Guide Review ****
by Irene Brown

In the bright glow of evening sun coming through the three stained glass windows of the Lot, a former Kirk that is now the Grassmarket venue, there was already a warm and friendly atmosphere as the audience mingled and waited for the performance by Kim Edgar, Yvonne Lyon and David Ferrard. Although well established in their own right as new, rising talents in the Scottish singer-songwriting scene, this was their first performance together. A trigger to this event was that each of their albums have were featured in ‘Album of the Week' by BBC Radio Scotland's Iain Anderson. Fine praise indeed!

Yvonne Lyon
Yvonne Lyon, seated in centre of the trio, likened the cosy atmosphere to a living room and the relaxed feeling was set when the smooth, clear sound of her voice started to sing. Yvonne's songs were personal, emotional and nostalgic and she allowed the audience to share in this nostalgia with the flying of polystyrene planes to chime with her song about childhood. Particularly moving was the song with the Christ-like images and lyrics that she had dedicated to her Glasgow Granny and which she sang with heartfelt sincerity. Sadly, there is little trace of her Renfrewshire accent when she sings. There were shades of Joan Osbourne in Everything's Fine a song inspired by a disabled girl's warm smile. Yvonne completely engages with her audience in a very genuine way and spoke warmly of the pleasure of collaboration.

Kim Edgar
Kim Edgar had sadly lost her voice, so she probably sang less than she normally would have. When she did, the words and tone of her songs were enough to engage and intrigue. She also dedicated a song to her gran. It was Simple Song and she sang it like a hymn, her Scots accent clear and welcome. Her version of the simple, but effective 1, 2,3,4,5 with David Ferrard and Yvonne, had the audience joining in with the chorus and hand movements. The nearby tenements, where it was assumed ‘silent concerts' were enjoyed must have been intrigued!
Kim plays accordion and keyboard and is part of a new band called The Burns Unit, though whether or not they specialise in songs by Burns, I don't know. Kim also sang her fairy tale song, Blood, Ice and Ashes with keyboard and bongo whose beat and crescendo was very atmospheric. Her last song, the haunting and hypnotic Heavy Skies (preceded by a wonderful innocent joke about The Balloon Family!) was accompanied by a gentle guitar and showed the depth of Kim's writing.

David Ferrard
Although David Ferrard is known as a singer who continues the folk tradition of writing and performing songs with a campaigning and political theme, he opened with the very lovely Take Me Out Waltzing Tonight. Who can resist the waltz time?
David, a Scots American, has a pure, gentle voice but he doesn't shy from harsh words. His Hour of Plenty is a song about capitalism, globalisation and social justice and Father Says tells of the "unseen gifts" of AIDS. The latter was accompanied by the glockenspiel which rendered the song with another layer of irony with its childish sound. His strong simple lyric of Broken Bones, a song about relationships, was sung as a duet with Yvonne.
He also sang Hard Times, by Stephen Collins Foster, famous for writing songs like Beautiful Dreamer and Old Folks at Home. David referred to him as an American Burns and although both men only lived to the age of 37, and he is known as "the father of American music", without wishing to take away from that, the comparison may end there. Continuing in the American folk tradition, David sang unaccompanied Pretty Saro, his pure voice giving particular poignancy to the sad lyrics.
This was the last gig in this year's Ceilidh Culture event. As the light had changed to the blue of late evening it was rounded of with a grand rendition of Down at the River to Pray and an encore of Auld Land Syne. I can't speak for the rest of the audience, but there was spontaneous hand linking in my row which was testament to the warmth and goodwill that was evident throughout the evening. I can say no better than Iain Anderson when he called the experience of hearing these three singers "life affirming".

Singing @ Aldermaston & @ Roy Bailey's 50th Anniversary Concert 

I've had some very positive experiences playing music this last month that I would like to share with you.  First of all I'm just back from a successful blockade at the Aldermaston weapons factory in the south of England.  This is where the government is investing billions of pounds to build new nuclear warheads for the replacement of Trident - the UK's WMD.  On Monday morning hundreds of us descended upon the site to engage is some peaceful civil disobedience.  I was singing with Seize The Day and Frankie Armstong, often directly to the blockaders as they were being dragged away by the cops!   It was a successful day, as we managed to blockade entrances to the site for a good few hours, and there was lots of media coverage. 

Just before Aldermaston I was singing at a community retreat centre called Newbold House, which is part of the Findhorn Foundation.  It was lovely to get a taste of community life with everyone contributing to the running of the house and the wellbeing of its members.  Every morning we would read an uplifting quotation from Eileen Caddy, one of the founders of the Findhorn Foundation, which was a bright and thoughtful way of starting the day. 

After Newbold I played with Mairi Campbell and Ewan Macpherson at the beautiful City Halls in Glasgow.  This was my first time playing with these very talented musicians and I hope we'll be able to collaborate some more in the future.  Then I went down to Sheffield to play at my friend and mentor, Roy Bailey's 50th anniversary concert.  Roy was in his element, surrounded by fellow musicians, friends, family, and fans.  Needless to say the event was sold out.  Roy sang two of my songs, Take Me Out Waltzing Tonight, and Visions Of Our Youth, and then I played Hills Of Virginia with two of the finest accompanists a singer-songwriter could wish for: Martin Simpson and Donald Grant.  I'll be putting up photos from the concert on this site sometime soon.  

Save Scotland's Traditional Arts 

I'm sitting on the train to London, feeling rested after the crazy Edinburgh Festival Fringe month of August.  My 30+ gigs went very well.  It was a pleasure to do a marathon 26 nights of a largely traditional show Scottish Folk Roots & Offshoots in the cozy Royal Oak, and to join Roy Bailey for five nights of Not In Our Name: Songs Of Peace & Protest.  Both shows attracted very positive audiences and reviews.  I'm now looking forward to a quieter September, including a month's holiday in the north of Scotland, and a trip down to Dorset to sing at a fundraiser for the people of Burma. 

Unfortunately I couldn't attend a protest outside the Scottish Parliament today against the government's cuts in funding of the traditional arts in Scotland.  If the Scottish goverment is not prepared to fund our traditional arts, who else will?  If you care about this campaign, please do sign our petition . The aim is to achieve as many signatures as possible within the next month with a view to influencing any future developments of the Creative Scotland Bill.  You can view and sign the petition here:

Performing at the Edinburgh Festival 

I've been enjoying my performances at this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe - over 30 shows!  My solo show, Scottish Folk Roots & Offshoots, has been doing well.  Tonight I begin my duo show with Roy Bailey - Not In Our Name: Songs Of Peace & Protest - Gigs

Here's a review for my solo show!!!

Scottish Folk Roots And Offshoots
David Ferrard
The Royal Oak is the perfect setting to experience the wonderfully tender melodies that David Ferrard graces us with today. Sat in The Oak's bottom bar, this intimate venue plays host to an exquisite performance of traditional folk that stretches from Scotland to America and back again. Taking in both his heritages (he was born in Edinburgh to a Pennsylvanian mother), David's sweet, lyrical delivery transports you from one side of the Atlantic to the other on an unforgettable journey to the roots of traditional folk. Combining his own material with well known classics, Ferrard exposes himself as a talented enough songwriter, equal to those he takes inspiration from. Touching, hypnotic and inspiring: a new star of folk is on the rise.
Three Weeks rating 4/5

Socialist Worker Article & Review 

I am delighted by the following article and review in this week's Socialist Worker:

'Singing for change and standing up against war'

Edinburgh-based singer-songwriter David Ferrard’s first album Broken Sky is winning rave reviews from the music press.

Scotland’s Sunday Herald newspaper and BBC Scotland both named it as the album of the week when it was released in March.

Many of David’s songs deal with the issues arising from the “war on terror”, and he sees his music as part of the resurgence of political and protest songs over the last few years.

“There is a real appetite for protest songs at the moment,” David told Socialist Worker. “The Iraq war has disturbed people, and they are looking for material with a political and social nature.

“Although it never went away, there is a bit of a revival in political songwriting. I put together an album called Not In Our Name last year about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. It included songs by Leon Rosselson, Roy Bailey, Amy Martin and David Rovics.

“The intention was to create a historical document from an anti-war perspective that reflects the artistic community’s engagement with the issues around the ‘war on terror’.

“I have also set up the Songs For Change website, which collects grassroots songs mostly to do with the war, but also other issues.

“The idea is to put them up so people can download them for free from the internet. It’s a very good resource for musicians and music lovers. Most of the people whose songs are on the website are not professional musicians, but people who are inspired by what’s happening in the world to produce songs.”

David’s sensitive and intelligent lyrics about war, love, asylum and other issues help him to connect with people on a number of levels.

“Nobody wants to be preached at,” said David, “So it’s often better to approach issues through a story, which I have done in the songs ‘Dmitri’s Pocket Radio’, about an asylum seeker in Britain, and ‘Hills of Virginia’, about an American who signs up for the US army and the Iraq war.

“Using these artistic devices can help you reach out to an audience.

“But with some audiences you have to be careful. You can be easily

pigeonholed as a political songwriter. Some people might think you’re too political and others not radical enough. So you’re treading a fine line.

“To be effective you have to appeal to people who are on different levels.”

Many of David’s songs have been inspired by his active involvement in the anti-war movement in Scotland, which in turn has meant that many people see his music as an authentic expression of the movement.

“The song ‘Visions of Our Youth’ came out of the anti-Trident nuclear weapons Long Walk for Peace march in Scotland, which I took part in,” said David. “I was inspired by the march to write this song.

“If you present a song as coming from an experience, as something you’re involved in, then audiences relate better to you even if they don’t agree with you.

“It helps prove you’re not just an armchair songwriter, and I do like to talk about the origins of the material and what inspired it, which is not always political.”

Folk was the ideal form of music for David to take up. “Folk music has a history of being an expression of the people’s voices,” said David. “It is deeply rooted in England, Scotland and the US.

“It was the music that most attracted me because of its ability to express social and political issues within the lyrics. It’s a music that can appeal across the spectrum.

“Folk music has a bit of a reputation for being for older people, but I feel that’s a little unfair. At festivals you find that a lot of younger people are drawn to the music.

“It’s not seen as being as rebellious as something like punk, but as a more sit down and listen to it form of music.”

David is now busy promoting the album and working on other projects.

“I’m now preparing for a show at the Edinburgh Festival with the singer Roy Bailey called Songs for Peace and Justice. It will be two generations of folk singers playing together that will explore the traditions of peace and protest music. That takes place at the Acoustic Music Centre from 13 to 17 August.

“I have also spent some time in the Woody Guthrie archive in the US reading his journals. He wrote about the social and class system when he was in Scotland in 1944 and I’m hoping to get that published.”

Socialist Worker Review by Pat Stark

The first thing that strikes you when listening to David Ferrard is the beauty of his voice—clear and strong, tough and sweet all at the same time.  It is slightly difficult to categorised his music, a sort of mixture of country and folk with a cutting edge.  He struck me as a cross between James Taylor and Nanci Griffiths with a little bit of Sufjan Stevens throw in for edge.  The album is an interesting mixture of touching love songs, wistful nostalgia, and comments on our times—all tracks bar one written by Ferrard.

With songs like “Broken Sky” (the title track), “Rain” and “This Heart”, Ferrard displays his talent as a writer/singer of love songs.  He has a voice that naturally lends itself to these tender songs.  The same voice though catches the mood of some of the issues of our day.  “Dimitri’s Pocket Radio” is a wonderful tale of the triumph of love over adversity, bureaucracy and racism.  Similarly “Hills of Virginia” captures the pointlessness and futility of “protecting our nation” in the Iraq war, and “The Hour of Plenty” picks away at the horrors of global capitalism. The album closes with “Never Let Go”, a song of the tragedy of the AIDS-torn 1980s.

However there is also a fun feeling to the album. “One Hell of A Ride” has the feeling of a country romp and “Take Me Out Waltzing Tonight” a celebration of enduring love. A very interesting mixture and a very good listen.

Busy April 

April's been a busy month, promoting the new album in Scotland, and preparing for a UK/Europe release in May. 
Shortly after my album launch I appeared at the Festival of Non-Violence's closing concert in London, run by the Gandhi Foundation in Kingsley Hall.  This featured an electic mix of artists from around the world and heralds the international Ghandi Tour, at which I may be participating. 
Broken Sky continues to receive positive reviews in the press, and to be played on new radio programmes throughout the UK and USA.  Here are a couple recent reviews:

The Friend
by Jez Smith
Each time I listen to Broken Sky, David Ferrard’s debut album, I come away oved by emotions, sometimes inspired to fight for justice, at other times I feel deeply tranquil.
David is subtle, with his anti-war song Hills of Virginia hitting home more accurately than any Brittush-issue weapon ever could: ‘My weapons were no longer toys’.  In Dmitri’s Pocket Radio, a true story of a refugee brought a tear to my eye the first few times that I heard it.  Later, in The Hour Of Plenty, David and his backing singer’s voices haunt me as he subtly exposes global inequalities.
David’s voice, combined with well-chosen lyrics, means that he will find his own niche in the world of folk music.  His well crafted songs and beautiful melodies are entwined to produce a timeless compilation that will be remembered for years to come.’

The Scotsman
by Norman Chalmers
Back in the 1960s this tousled-haired lad with the acoustic guitar would have been labelled a 'protest' singer, and though much of this first album by the Edinburgh-based Scots/American songwriter does rail at the current war(s) and the iniquities of power, he also gives us songs about affairs of the heart, personal and universal. So it's peace and love with a contemporary feel – and a strong band line-up that includes the likes of Karine Polwart. And there are lighthearted songs such as 'Take Me Out Waltzing Tonight', and a happy ending to the picaresque 'Dmitri's Pocket Radio'.