Halifax, Va. native Dane Ferguson has been playing music “from the jump.” His 100% supportive parents, who are also musicians, put him on a drum kit at two years old. At four he was on the piano, at ten he was writing instrumental music, by twelve he was playing the guitar and by the time he was about fifteen he was singing and songwriting.
Dane spent one year at Old Dominion University until he decided to start chasing music instead and made the move to New York City where he lived for about four or five months. He then moved to Farmville, Va. but now lives in Richmond which has been his home for the last three years. However, it seems like this traveling man wants to stay here for at least another year. “I’m starting to, for the first time, break into scene here…it would be unwise to leave right now,” he said. Now, at twenty-five years old he has his first EP out which includes six acoustic songs that he wrote in the comfort of his own bedroom and funded through Kickstarter.
When it comes to inspiration, the performing aspect is what keeps him going. His favorite part is watching others being entertained and seeing the crowd’s reaction to the songs. The only places to play music in his hometown were the 4-H or high school talent shows, so it’s a huge change being in Richmond where it seems like there are countless venues to play at – like every Tuesday night at Metro Grill from 8-11 (and other places sporadically). You’re most likely to hear a mix of his own songs and some throwback acoustic covers of artists like Outkast and Nelly. Two of his musical role models are Ryan Adams and Edwin McCain, the latter of who gave Dane a personal shout out at a festival in his early teen years. Edwin McCain was the first person he ever saw playing with just an acoustic guitar and his voice, and that’s how you’ll find Dane – with his guitar and his voice.
On the side, Dane works at the local Jersey Mikes where his manager recently connected him with Wyatt Durrette, the man who has produced many of Zac Brown Band’s hits. Not only did they collaborate on writing a song to go on the next album, but he was actually able to fly out to Denver to meet Zac Brown where they played music together on his tour bus and in his hotel room. “Sitting across from someone that I’ve listened to for the last 7 or 8 years…watching them play my songs and I’d play one of their songs…it was one of the most intensely gratifying experiences,” he said. “The song on the album is going to be my kickoff.”
That’s not the only exciting news. Dane has also recently worked with a producer in Phoenix and San Francisco where they shot a video for a new super-secret project that he’s being told to keep hush-hush about for the next few months. Aren’t you curious? (I am too!) He hopes to start working on a new album once he gets settled into his new place and has a different environment to work in. In the meantime, you can buy his current EP on Bandcamp.
However, music isn’t Dane’s only pastime. He also draws, paints and bikes – he built his own bike and uses it to go everywhere. Another interesting fact? In 2010 he cut his finger off. You’d think that might have thrown him off his music game but he relearned how to play guitar and taught himself a different technique using three other fingers. “It was almost like a blessing in disguise. When I came out on the other side, I was certainly a better guitarist than I was before,” he explained. The best part about it is – no one has ever mentioned it!
A word of advice? “Don’t let the wind get knocked out of you for too long. There are so many things that can be discouraging…keep focused on what makes you happy and chase it no matter how hard it gets, because it’s gonna get hard.”
When asked if he wants to make a career out of music, he answered, “Certainly.”