Ferron, a Canadian folk singer-songwriter and poet, and one of Canada's most respected folk musicians, is also one of the most influential writers and early performers of women's music. In listening to Ferron's music, audiences are allowed to acknowledge the passage of time, people, memories, and hopes through her poetic metaphors. Her familiar vernacular, direct statements, enlightened associations, warm and husky voice, and engaging stage presence have permitted identification with her experiences and her process, her struggles and her wisdom, her universal anguish and strength. Born on June 1, 1952, Ferron grew up in a semi-rural suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia, the eldest of seven children in a working-class family. After leaving home at 15, she scrambled financially, supporting herself by driving a cab, waitressing, shoveling gravel, and packing five-pound bags of coffee in a factory.
From her basement, she recorded and distributed Ferron (1977) and Ferron Backed Up (1978). Since both albums are now out of print collector's items, Ferron decided to re-release much of their material on subsequent albums. In 1978, Ferron was "discovered" by Gayle Scott, who became her manager and business partner. Ferron and Scott collaborated on her next two studio albums: Testimony (Lucy Records, 1980) and Shadows on a Dime (Lucy Records, 1984), which received a four-star rating from Rolling Stone magazine. She went on to release six more albums (Phantom Center, Resting with the Question, Driver, Not a Still Life, Still Riot and Impressionistic) before Turning into Beautiful, her next album of original material, in 2005 on her own label. That was followed by Girl on a Road Documentary and Live Show, then Boulder, a collection of re-recordings produced by Bitch on Short Story Records, in 2008. Boulder includes guest appearances by Ani Difranco, Indigo Girls, JD Samson (Le Tigre), Sam Parton (Be Good Tanyas), Tina G (God-des) and Julie Wolf. The newest Ferron CD, Lighten-ing, was released in 2013, also produced by Bitch, with the film Thunder (by Bitch and Billie Jo Cavallaro) packaged as a two-disc set.
Ferron also teaches master classes in writing and has opened an artist retreat for women in Three Rivers, Michigan, called "The Fen Peace and Poetry Camp for Women." For Ferron, "artistic expression is not only essential, it’s revolutionary." "Art is really the expression of the soul," Ferron says. "I'm asking women to remember that if we remember our soul, we keep our soul, and we can do it through artistic connections. Art is connected to the soul, and the soul is connected to God, and God is connected to humility, so if you want to take control of a person's soul, don't let them have art. To me it's a revolutionary act to continue keeping your artist soul alive.”