BY CANDY PARKER
My introduction to Melissa Ferrick came in 1996 when a friend sent me a mix tape that included a cover version of Roberta Flack’s “Feel Like Makin’ Love.” I had no idea who sang the tune (the mix tape didn’t come with liner notes), but I knew I was gripped by the artist’s passionate tone and hard-driving guitar accompaniment. So captivated was I by this mystery artist, I must have hit play-rewind-play-rewind-play-rewind dozens of times in the weeks after I received that tape.
It took days of begging to get my friend to reveal that the track was from a 1995 CD called “Spirit of ’73: Rock for Choice,” a production that brought together 14 female artists from the 90s to record covers of hit singles by female singers of the 70s with proceeds benefiting the Rock for Choice Organization. With that info in hand, it wasn’t difficult to learn that the singer with whom I’d become obsessed was Melissa Ferrick.
In the ensuing 18 years, I’ve been fortunate enough to see Ferrick perform live numerous times in a variety of locations. In the 90s I once saw her in a setting so intimate that I was able to pull a stool up directly in front of the stage and literally rest my foot barely inches from her mic stand. Subsequently, I’ve made a point of catching Ferrick’s D.C.-area performances anywhere and everywhere I can — from the rowdy 9:30 Club downtown to the more relaxed suburban-based Jammin’ Java to the acoustically near-perfect Birchmere. My only regret in having so religiously attended Ferrick’s shows over the years is that, despite my many pleas, I have yet to hear her sing “Feel Like Makin’ Love” live. If ever I do, I’ll die happy.
1. If you could be anywhere else in the world right now, where would you want to be and what would you be doing there?
Somewhere warm at some amazing recording studio making a record — not necessarily even my music — producing or co-writing anything that would demand me spending 12 hours of the day in a perfectly controlled environment with fresh coffee all day while being able to walk outside to “get a breath of fresh air” in a T-shirt and jeans.
2. What’s the last book you read?
Don’t read much, but it was Anne Lamott’s “Rosie.”
3. If you could host a dinner party and invite any five people — past or present — to attend who would be on that guest list?
I’m going with an “alive,” all-women dinner party and my choices are: Amy Poehler, Chelsea Handler, Francis Mcdermott, Jennifer Lawrence and Tina Fey.
4. Beach or mountains?
5. What are you most looking forward to in 2014?
Making a new record, learning new ways to balance my life and participating more in the friendships I have.