"If Pacifico Rik don't get you smiling, you're either dead or a communist. Either way, you've got issues."
National Radio Hall of Famer Big Don O'Brien
Hey there, thanks for visiting my site. After spending 10 amazing years running around the Western Hemisphere connecting outlaw country and tiki bar Trop Rock with the Roadhouse Clams, I'm now out on my own in South Florida, but still putting miles on my guitars and Sippin on every Sunset I can. Hope to see you at a show real soon.
NAME: Pacifico Rik Ferrell (pronounced fur-RELL, not Furl)
FROM: Born on Long Island in NY, grew up in Annapolis, MD. Currently residing in the South Florida sunshine.
MUSIC GENRE: Some call it Classic Southern Rock meets Island Americana (picture Kenny Chesney fronting CCR), but I like to keep things simple and call it Beach Music For Drunk Girls to Dance To.
WHO GOT YOU HOOKED ON MUSIC: My Cuban-born dad. He had a monster record collection that had everything from Coltrane to Tchaikovsky to Led Zeppelin to Perez Prado. He also taught me to not get caught up in genres and to simply like the music that sounds good to me, no matter where it comes from or who it comes out of.
FIRST PAYING GIG? I was 15, and our 4-piece got $100 to play a house party in downtown Annapolis. We got maybe 3 songs in before the constables came in and busted a house full of underage drinkers. We unplugged and ran like hell, guitars in hand, thru alleys and backyards, then swung back a little while later to get our amps and drum kit. I can't recall if we actually got paid.
FIRST/BIGGEST/CURRENT WOW GIG: mid-90s, four youngins opening for Flaming Lips at CBGBs with my band Stagger Stagger Crawl. It was our first gig anywhere in NYC. Sure the place was filthy, and the carpet still had the stains from Iggy Pop bleeding on it in the 70s, but it was the coolest thing ever. Biggest so far has to be the 2011 HFStival at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia MD, on the same bill as the Avett Brothers, Gin Blossoms, Diane Birch, and a bunch more.
Still running up and down the East Coast for shows as often as I can, and I have a fantastic monthly residency gig at Lynq in Ft Myers, FL, where we shine a big damn spotlight on original music. I wear my GOOD jeans for that one.
WHO ELSE HAVE YOU PLAYED WITH/OPENED FOR? As a kid I got to jam with blues legend Roy Battle, who was Billie Holliday's drummer back in the day AND a Tuskeegee Airman! Since then, I've also opened for Jonny Lang, Moe, the Nighthawks, Gin Blossoms, Southern Culture on the Skids, Teddy Gentry from Alabama, Vertical Horizon, and I'm probably forgetting another half-dozen or so. And I got to play with some incredible people while making my new record "Ugly Babies", like KD Lang's keyboardist and bandleader Daniel Clarke (Daniel also plays with Ryan Adams), drummer Dusty Ray Simmons and guitarist Mark Williams. The songwriting and recording sessions were amazing.
SPEAKING OF SONGWRITING, WHO HAVE YOU WRITTEN FOR? There's a song on my new EP Ugly Babies called Shine On Me that I originally wrote for my nephew, Tyler Merna. Tyler is a young Disney and Broadway actor, and needed something for screen tests that fit his age better than John Legend songs. Since I am 12 years old emotionally, they commissioned me to help. that. Beyond Tyler, I've written for Trop Rocker Chris Sacks, and Keith Thompson, and scores and music beds for other 3rd party projects.
INFLUENCES: I am all over the place musically. Love old school storytellers like Roger Miller, Kris K, Tom T. Hall, Waylon, Jerry Jeff, John Prine, Jerry Reed, Harry Belafonte, Hiatt, Steve Earle, James McMurtry, REK, plus Rolling Stones, Little Feat, the Band, Chuck Brown, P-Funk, Curtis Mayfield, Peter Tosh, Bowie, X, Old 97s, Zak Brown, and on the newer side, great artists keeping the flame burning, like Stugill Simpson, Alabama Shakes, Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton, St Paul & the Broken Bones. That's just scratching the surface.
GUITAR OF CHOICE: My main acoustic is a Taylor 214CE--it sounds great, and it's not too expensive to the point where I can't let it out of my sight when I'm on the road. My main electric is Whitney, a 2001 American Fender Tele. She's done many hundreds of shows with me.
FAVORITE MUSIC FILM: That Thing You Do, the Last Waltz of course, and I loved Walk Hard too.
STUCK ON A DESERT ISLAND ALBUM: so tough to call. Either the Stones Exile on Main St, or Little Feat's Waiting for Columbus.
ADVICE FOR YOUNG SONGWRITERS: quoting Hamlet here: 'to thine own self be true'.
"Rik Ferrell's sound is the intersection where Austin, Texas meets the Florida Keys."
Jamie Norton, WPOC, Baltimore MD
SOME BETTER-KNOWN FOLKS I'VE OPENED FOR/PERFORMED WITH
Alabama's Teddy Gentry
Hootie & the Blowfish
Minus the Bear
Paul Reed Smith Band
Southern Culture on the Skids
Jimmie Van Zant