Whether subtle or extreme, The Kevin Ferguson Group is a musical adventure. They are currently performing music culminated from decades of musical exploration including music normally not heard on acoustic or electric guitars, (from the classical violin virtuoso to jazz sax to Balkan Gypsie to Bluegrass Banjo to Indian Rags to Native American "Ghost Dance Songs") along with the spectrum of music more native to his instrument (including covers of guitar hero tunes from the likes of Eric Johnson, Steve Morse, Jimi Hendrix, etc.). The most common reaction to performances is "Amazing!"
The group consists of Kevin Ferguson (also of "Who Knew) on acoustic and electric guitars, Chris Goldthorpe on fretless and 5 string bass, hand percussionist Chris Sorenson and percussionist Kevin Cosgrove (of "Who Knew"). The interwoven high energy, highly syncopated rhythms and melodies of this latest line-up are even more compelling than Ferguson's latest "Exotic Extremes" CD.
Although Ferguson has played many styles on many instruments on both coasts, he currently calls Portland, OR his home and guitar his main instrument. His performances have been heard in 5 continents due to airplay and purchases of his CD's since his debut, "Strad to Strat" which includes virtuoso classical violin showpieces transcribed for electric guitar. After local performances of this music for nearly 2 years (during which the CD stayed on Locals Only's top 24 selling list and ever since has been guitarnine.com's number one seller in it's category), Kevin began performing music which is on his latest CD, "Exotic Extremes": music from 5 continents transcribed for steel string acoustic and electric guitars along with his ensemble, "Teshkoto."Again, this CD became the number one seller it's category (World Music) at guitarnine.com.
"I made a goal of learning at least one tune I liked from every country in the world," he explains, "and though I may never reach this goal, it has brought me to some great music so far." He performs music from Asia (including Nothern Indian Classical Rags, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistani, Chinese, Japanese and others), Africa, The Middle East, Europe (including Balkan and Baltic regions) and the Americas (including a Native American spirit dance song performed prior to the Wounded Knee slaughter). The CD concentrates primarily on the former Ottoman Empire: Macedonia, Bulgaria, Rumania/Serbia and the Middle East.
Learning about other cultures has been quite rewarding for him as well. In studying Northern Indian Classical, he has taken lessons from Portland's Indian transplant Nisha Goshi, a student of a student of Ravi Shankar, for example. In addition, he performed percussion for Indian music with Shri Ravi Shankar (no relation) at Portland's "Old Church." Many of the areas ethnic communities have been quite open to sharing their music.
Kevin Ferguson studied Music Theory and Composition with Carmen Rodrigez-Peralta of New York's Julliard School of Music. While in NY, he wrote and performed original jazz/rock tunes with "Trazee" and punk rock with "The Quaaludes." While on the east coast he played in theater orchestras, jazz, pop rock and even country bands.
He has recently been creating new original tunes, as well as developing his own new improvisational style with all the above along with swing, salsa, original and other influences. In addition, he is exploring the range of pure tones from the guitar in his music.
In recent gigs with his band, Kevin has been performing the eclectic mix of the above music along with virtuoso heavey guitar instrumental tunes, both original and covers such as Eric Johnson's "Cliffs Of Dover," Stever Morse' "Tumeni Notes" and Jimi Hendrix' "Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)."
Kevin's musical projects have earned the following praise:
"It's bloody amazing what I hear..." -- Richard Karsmarkers, ST NEWS & Bacil Magazine, Netherlands "F(Censored)ING BRILLIANT!!!!!!! It's magic stuff. I love it..." -- Douglas Johnston, "The Flying Scotsman," URY Radio, York, U.K. "The CD is amazing!" -- The Campbell Brothers, Internet's HARDRADIO "...the playing is impressive. Very impressive." -- Mike Taylor, Gibralter Magazine "Roll Over, Niccolo. Actually, maestro Paganini probably would have approved..." -- Oregonian, A&E, Best Bets For The Week, Dec. 15-21, 1995 "It's an intriguing sound..." -- David MacLaine, Willamette Week. "...fantastic (translated)..." -- Esquire Magazine, The Netherlands "Again great album! ...guitar skills are excellent and I would even call it 'elegant'." -- Janell Duxbury, author, "Rockin' the Classics and Classicizin' The Rock," Greenwood Press "I loved it. I was amazed at (Ferguson's) technique" -- Tim Rice, Ethnomusicology Dept. Chair UCLA & author of "May It Fill Your Soul." "...he has succeeded impressively." -- Peter T. Thelen, Expose' "...some of the most brilliant works in classical music with searing, blistering electric guitar." -- Cai Campbell, Cosmik Debris E-Zine "Quite amazing and unique work." -- Ford Prefect, The Beginning 87.9FM, Radio Free Seattle "...great, very interesting I must say, very talented as well." -- Aaron Nakama, Station Manager CKUL 99.7 FM, Canada "Many people says that CD is fine." -- Zbigniew Zych, Radio Akademickie Krakow, Poland "His playing is like nothing you can imagine. Amazing speed and technical abilities blended well with beautiful melodies." -- Evan Hadley, Evan Hadley Band