MP3 Berkley Hart - Pocket Change
Both an excellent introduction to the Berkley Hart sound, as well as the album that long time fans have been hoping for, the eleven tunes on offer won’t disappoint.
11 MP3 Songs
FOLK: Folk Pop, COUNTRY: Country Folk
Hailed as masters of both two part harmony and dazzling song craft, Berkley Hart have established themselves as one of the premier acoustic duos touring the country. In concert the duo shines, the obvious camaraderie between these two top songwriters driving each performance. Add in virtuoso playing from both Jeff Berkley (guitar, percussion) and Calman Hart (guitar, harmonica) as well as their good natured humor and it’s easy to see why the two have become live favorites. That said, it’s their acclaimed albums which have racked up the accolades, each filled with tunes as catchy as you’re likely to come across. Over their three albums to date, the duo has honed their approach, experimenting with format and instrumentation, even using a band. Now the pair has stripped their sound down to the basics, using only what they can carry, their guitars and their voices.
For Berkley Hart’s fourth album, Pocket Change, the duo wanted a ‘back-to-basics’ record that captured the spirit and essence of their live performances, just the two of them, playing and singing together into one microphone. Keeping things as authentic -as well as spontaneous- as possible, the disc was recorded in a wooden room, with the guys playing and singing together at the same time. Comprised of road tested material, there were very few overdubs and very few takes during the session, which took sixteen hours start to finish. This pared down musical approach offers the perfect vantage point for inspired harmonies and lyrical deftness built out of a lifetime of performing.
Both Berkley and Hart emerged from the Southern California coffeehouse circuit, each building sizeable followings of their own before joining forces. Berkley is a Kerrville New Folk Songwriter Award Winner, and a founding member of the Joel Rafael Band. Meanwhile Hart released a trio of albums as a solo artist. Going on seven years together however, the pair''s performing style has evolved, in a true ‘less is more’ scenario. Beginning in early 2005, when the duo staged O Berkley, Where Hart Thou, the pair began their quest to hearken back to the ‘old-timey’ ways and only use one microphone, no monitors, amplifiers or direct boxes. In this way Berkley Hart are at their purest in every performance whether they’re in a large outdoor venue or in an intimate house concert setting.
Each of Berkley Hart’s three previous releases has built on the promise of the one before. 2000’s debut album, Wreck ‘n’ Sow, was a critical success out of the box that won that year’s San Diego Music Awards (SDMA) prize for Best Local Recording, and took home the coveted Best New Artist trophy to boot. SLAMM magazine said, "Sometimes an album surfaces that is so emotionally and musically authentic that it crumbles resistance to its genre." Two years later the duo released Something To Fall Back On, receiving that year''s SDMA for Best Adult Alternative Album. This time out Relix Magazine proclaimed, “The band infuses its rich, harmony-laden songs with strains of bluegrass, folk, country and rock…while…their solid and finely-crafted songs are a good melding of yesterday and today.” More recently, Twelve was released in 2004. Self-produced and recorded entirely in a home studio, the album received an SDMA for Best Americana Album. The All Music Guide noted, "Twelve...reveals that [Berkley Hart] know how to create appealing, harmony-rich country-rock songs. In fact, this disc...feels like an excellent calling card for Nashville."
All of which leads us to Pocket Change. Both an excellent introduction to the Berkley Hart sound, as well as the album that long time fans have been hoping for, the eleven tunes on offer won’t disappoint. In Pocket Change, the duo has crafted an album that can touch both soul and whimsy, ably confirming the pair’s dedication to both song hooks and wordplay. Perhaps the perfect condensation of the talent that is Berkley Hart.