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Regina Ferguson Releases “Canyon Town”

Rousting us from the slumber much of the country music industry has been left in these past few months, Regina Ferguson seems to be a woman on a mission in her new single “Canyon Town,” as it takes her no longer than the song’s first thirty seconds to ignite a fire that will soon burn like a wildfire gone out of control. She has so much tension behind her lyrics here, so much anguish she seems to be intent on abandoning between the start and conclusion of this single, but only through a disciplined string of emissions through verse and virtuosities of harmony will she – and the audience – find a catharsis so desperately sought by anyone alive and kicking these days.  

There’s some pressure coming off of the bassline and the percussion jointly here, but it’s tapered by the fragility of our leading lady’s voice, which seems to have its most dynamic moments when the instrumental portion of the music reaches an ebbing point. Ferguson is very careful about how she spreads out a climax, and while she isn’t stingy with the eruptive emotionality in the chorus of the song, the rest of the time she plays a far more mysterious part. Her role isn’t one of the dusty troubadour looking to expel a lot of excess tension through words and music together, but instead, the temptress on the stage of the club, leaning into the mic only when she has a remark she wants to emphasize with tone over actual volume.  

While it can be said that Regina Ferguson was thinking about retro rhythm and rhyme when she sat down to structure “Canyon Town,” I think it’s also pretty clear that she was thinking about empowerment and swagger among her fans as well. There’s been a shortage of self-confidence in the world lately – replaced, mostly, by either politics-inspired depression as triggered by the littlest of things or a self-righteous arrogance that isn’t attractive to anyone with any sense – and with her message here, Ferguson attacks the notion that it has to come from cosmetic victories in life. She’s espousing the need to believe in yourself before ever bringing anyone else into your life in “Canyon Town,” and that’s a narrative I think we could all use a lot more of right now. 

“Canyon Town” is a bit longer than most of the similarly-stylized singles I’ve been reviewing in 2023 have been, but it doesn’t come anywhere close to tripping into bloated territory. For the most part, Regina Ferguson gives us every reason to believe that she has a lot of gas left in the tank as she enters a new era in her career as a professional musician in this single, and even if she doesn’t top the charts with “Canyon Town,” she still solidifies her credibility beyond debate. I came into this with some high expectations, and I’m pleased to say that she lived up to all of them and even raised the bar for some of her peers in the process. 

Mindy McCall



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