Admit it: Your life goal is to impress Morrissey. [ed. note: *cough*
] Hate to break it to you, but in all likelihood, it ain't gonna happen. So it's probably in your interest to sidle up to Melissa Ferrick
, the Boston-bred singer-songwriter who so famously impressed Morrissey in the 1990s that he hand-picked her to open one of his tours. Her acoustic, bluesy folk packs the punch of both Indigo Girls rolled into one, but she also delivers the lo-fi grit of Liz Phair and the lyrical luminosity of Patty Griffin. While guitar is Ferrick's major (with a concentration in rapid finger-picking), she has been known to complement such stylings with big-band brass, making her the only member of the alt-acoustic grrl set to emulate Bette Midler and impress Morrissey in one fell swoop.