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Listen to Patrick Ferguson’s Crash & Ride Podcast

Oct. 8, 2020

Patrick Ferguson is a capital-L Lifer. The Athens, Ga., drummer has kept time for The Psychedelic Furs, the late Vic Chesnutt and members of Athens’ hometown heroes R.E.M., all while staying loyal to Five-Eight, the bar-band par excellence he joined in 1992. At 50, Ferguson recently spent a year as though he was 25, playing dives and sleeping on floors as drummer/tour manager for a young, high-energy Japanese band called Pinky Doodle Poodle. As fun as jamming econo on the road can be, it easily takes its toll if one isn’t careful. Ferguson knows this, and Crash & Ride, the podcast about musicians and mental health he’s hosted since early 2019, explores it. A true Southern gentleman and a natural at interviewing, he offers a safe space for subjects (a wide range of local and national, obscure and semi-well-known musicians) to open up about dark moments and close brushes with death, guiding the conversation in a way that is cathartic and therapeutic for all (listener included), and never, ever feels exploitative. You can’t go wrong with any of C&R’s 70-plus episodes, but Ryley Walker (Episode 19) and David Pajo (Episode 65) — two gifted players whose struggles have been relatively public — go deep. Ferguson belongs on NPR, or should be raking in the big bucks as a therapist. Excellent, necessary stuff. Check it out at CHARLIE ZAILLIAN