Thursday, February 16, 2006

12 Questions for David Berkeley



This came in the mail yesterday from Joli von Einem of Cuckoo’s Nest etc.

Event: Singer/Songwriter David Berkeley and Adam Buchwald
Atlanta based Singer/songwriter David Berkeley makes his maiden voyage to the Westhaven Center for the Arts w/ his mandolin and banjo-wielding sideman Adam Buchwald for an intimate evening of acoustic music. Berkeley's songs are rich with imagery, stories that transport you to the rivers of Idaho, the battlefields of the Civil War, the rail lines of the great plains, the lonely roads of America…
Feb, 24th 7:30pm at Westhaven Center for the Arts.
$8-$12 suggested general $5 students, call 677-9493 for reservations or info.

The note included a link to David’s website so I shot him a note with 12 questions.
Here’s what came back:

David,
I heard you're coming this way.
Can I ask you a few questions?

Yes

Who are you?

I am David Berkeley.

Where are you now? Where are you from originally?

I live in Atlanta, GA. I was born in New Jersey. In between, I lived in New York City (for a girl), Cambridge, MA (school), Santa Cruz, CA (writing music and generally wasting time), Santa Fe, NM (working for Outside magazine and living with raw foodists on a compound of sorts), Idaho (working summers as a river rafting guide on the Salmon and Snake), Alaska (writing for Let's Go Alaska) and, believe it or not, a month in Humboldt County working for the Redwood National Park maintenance crew.

What do you do?

I am a singer/songwriter and guitarist, which means that I spend most of my life writing music and then singing and performing what I’ve written. My music is in the ‘60s world of songwriters like Joni Mitchell and Cat Stevens or the more modern circle including Elliot Smith, Damien Rice, Ryan Adams, David Gray. The New York Times and many other journals compare me to Nick Drake. The Times wrote: "Berkeley sings in a lustrous melancholy voice with shades of Tim Buckley and Nick Drake...as his melodies ascend to become benedictions and consolations, the music shimmers and peals."

Why do you do whatever it is you do?

For the past 10 or so years, I suppose I’ve looked to find a path that allows me to bring out something uniquely mine, something authentic, something that expresses my relationship with the world. It's a difficult search, one that isn't necessarily over. But I feel like I can express and connect and give more through my songs than other forms of writing and certainly more than through working as a waiter or a caddy or a barista or other jobs I’ve held.

What are you working on?

Currently, I’m promoting my latest CD--a live CD/DVD called Live from Fez. It features a scattering of songs from my first 2 CDs (The Confluence and After The Wrecking Ships) and some new material. My full band plays on the disc, and it captures our final show at [Fez] the New York City listening room that became our home in New York. Like many great music rooms, Fez closed down. But we wanted to capture what we did there and how special the room was. We kept in my banter with the audience (which I tend to do a lot of) and held back from utilizing any studio tricks. What's left is an intimate, energetic and hopefully entertaining and moving glimpse of our musical journey.

What’s next?

A European tour. A new record. And hopefully a duck hunting trip with Dick Cheney.

When will you be here? With who?

I’ll be at the Westhaven Center for the Arts on Friday, February 24th at 7:30pm. I'm bringing my mandolinist/banjoist Adam Buchwald with me.

Who's that?

He is known affectionately as Buck, and he's a crowd favorite always. He's recorded on all my projects and doesn't mind long road trips and history books on tape.

Where can someone find out more about you?

My website is www.davidberkeley.com there's also www.myspace.com/davidberkeley there are pictures available for download at the press link of davidberkeley.com -- where you can also read other reviews.

Thanks for your time Bob, and as this show is last minute, thanks for helping to publicize in any way you can.
Best, David

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