Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Image

Folky duo Berkley Hart will play two release parties at Swedenborg Hall for their new full-length Crow; July 8 (with pop duo the Lovebirds opening) and July 9 (with rock duo Bug Guts).

Image “We had originally wanted to call the CD American Crow,” says Jeff Berkley. “That's the title of the picture Calman found online that is the cover. There was something perfect about the way the picture fit the music. It was my 13 year-old daughter, Dakota Crow Berkley, who said ‘That picture is awesome, how ‘bout just Crow for the title?’ At that moment, all of the different meanings of the word ‘crow’ started to bubble up in our brains. In some cultures, the crow symbolizes despair and darkness, while in others it’s a harbinger of hope and light. This contrast seemed to fit the yin and yang of the songs on the album, both musically and lyrically.”

“Additionally,” says Calman Hart, “the title has personal meaning for Jeff, because it speaks to the Indian side of his heritage. His Osage family's surname is Crow.”

Both players say the essence of what they do will never change. “What the audiences seem to really love is the two of us playing our guitars and singing our harmonies,” says Hart. “We've happened on a magical combination of voices and songwriting that has worked really well for us. What's new is where we've taken it this time. This record is dark and rich and full of flavor, like a Guinness. Like Jameson Whiskey, it's got a bite to it, as well as a big warm embrace. It's different than anything we've ever done song-wise, and I know folks will fall in love with these new stories as we have.”

Jeff Berkley recalls for the Reader obtaining his first musical instrument. "A white upright piano. My parents got it for me when I was three or four. My father was a minister, and it was handed down from some old church -- all dirty, cracked in a bunch of places, and I think it leaned to the left. I messed around with that until I was old enough to set up boxes to play with wooden spoons, after I decided to become a drummer for a while. It didn't cost me anything. Since it came from a church, it was a gift from God."

Calman Hart remembers his as "A red-and-yellow electric guitar. I can't remember the brand, but it wasn't very expensive. It wouldn't stay in tune, and the action was too high. It wasn't until I got an acoustic guitar that I took it seriously, but I have pictures of me holding it and looking all rock and roll. I was 12. You'd have to ask Santa how much it cost."

Berkley ("I'm one of the rare native San Diegans") and Hart ("I moved here from Utah in the early '80s") joined forces as Berkley Hart in October 1999. Berkley thinks it's their third album, 2004's Twelve, that best captures their rootsy Americana sound.

"We built a new home studio, so that was our first entirely self-produced effort. I've been producing records for a while but never had my own equipment. Now that I'm engineering, I've been listening to a lot of older records and learning how the great bands got that actual sound you know them for." Twelve received a San Diego Music Award for "Best Americana Album."

In the gap between records, Berkley Hart has played some oddly themed shows. "We do it just to put a different spin on things," says Hart. "For New Year's 2001, we did '2001: A Berkley Hart Odyssey,' which was the film music with a smoke machine. There was the 'Harvest Moon Party' -- all Neil Young songs from that album with a bale of hay and a scarecrow onstage. We once played an entire album by Gregory Page, The Romantic Adventures of Harry, including an outtake that wasn't on the album. Gregory was there and played with us at the end of the night. We even did 'Berkley Hart Bingo,' where we put all our song titles on bingo cards. As we'd play a song, you'd mark it off and jump up and yell if you got bingo."

Image The duo is known for their recurring show called O Berkley, Where Hart Thou? in which they perform music from the film soundtrack O Brother, Where Art Thou? and similar classic Americana songs. Hart says, "We love that music and, as soon as we thought of the name, we couldn't resist."

O Berkley, Where Hart Thou? was filmed for a DVD and CD (released in 2006), featuring a live concert performance with special guests including the 7th Day Buskers, Eve Selis, Gregory Page, and more. The CD was also nominated for "Best Americana or Country Album" at the 2007 San Diego Music Awards.

More like this:

Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close