Rik Ferrell has been gigging music most of his life. Not long ago, he was with the Road House Clams from the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Rik’s latest project though, after a move to the sunny coast of Florida, is Rik Ferrell and the Borrowed Stars. His new single, “Well I Never,” from the upcoming six-track EP, Ugly Babies, is already getting some good airplay.
Rik’s first paying gig was playing a house party when he was just 15 years old. “We made a hundred bucks,” Rik recalled. “We got about two songs in before the cops showed up and we all had to sneak out the back door with our guitars in hand, running through alley,” he laughed.
Rik recalled a time when he got to play a gig in New York City at CBGBs, opening for the Flaming Lips, as a rather significant career moment. “We really felt like rock stars,” he recalled. “And we actually got paid that night too. That was a real launching pad for me. I was like; ‘Yea, I want more of this,’ and I’ve been chasing it ever since.”
Rik’s music has that coastal, yacht rock sound so synonymous with summer time fun. “It’s always been sort of a cow-punk style,” Rik said. “But it’s morphed into this outlaw country style, but I’ll take it. I just generally let the music take me where the music is gonna go.”
“The Road House Clams was a six piece configuration of musical miscreants,” Rik said. “It was crazy. We had a blast. It was a lot of touring and a whole lot of fun. But I finally got to the point where my doctor told me that I was allergic to shoveling snow and wearing big bulky clothes,” he quipped.
Rik already had experience playing in Florida through a booking agency. They were constantly pursuing him to move there permanently with the promise of plenty of work, so he finally relocated in 2017. “There is just so many places here to play year round, and it’s so relaxed. Even during Covid, we’ve been able to play outside,” he said.
Rik’s new EP, Ugly Babies, released at the end of February. “The studio band that joined me on the new release was absolutely stellar,” Rik said. “We had standouts like keyboardist Daniel Clarke from KD Lang’s and Ryan Adams’s bands, Dusty Ray Simmons on drums, my son Derek Ferrell on bass, and my longtime friend and studio ninja Mark Williams ably handling the production and laying down the quality guitar parts. We all fell in love with Phoebe Sharp’s pristine, game-changing harmonies, and Mark was even able to get the great J. Tom Hnatow to make a cameo on pedal steel. With all of them on board, we took these songs to a whole new level. I’m still blown away!”