GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Nor'easterner singer-songwriter Marc Berger said his life forever changed after he visited the western states for the first time when he was 21.His passion for the West is behind the making of his new CD titled "Ride" - songs from which he'll be performing Friday, Feb. 15, at the Radio Room, 1310 Ute Ave.Berger, who plays guitar and harmonica, will be joined by Rob Meador on mandolin and guitar. Berger continues to live in upstate New York where he was raised, and has played in rock 'n' roll bands in New York City, performed at Austin's South by Southwest Music Festival, and the Kerrville Folk Festival. Plus, he's opened shows for Bob Dylan and other national acts. His song, "The Last One," has been performed by Richie Havens at disarmament rallies in the U.S. and Europe, and was quoted in the "New York Times" and featured on the CBS Evening News. A backpacking trip in Arizona's Paria Canyon was the impetus for what became his newest collection of songs recorded on "Ride." During that excursion he and his buddy became lost and separated from each other for 24 hours. "Emotionally spent" and "physically exhausted" the two ended up at a trading post where Berger discovered a book of short stories by author A.B. Guthrie - who also wrote "The Big Sky," and "The Way West," two "great 20th century novels," about the American West, Berger said.The novels spurred Berger to tackle a similar theme through music."At a certain point I became interested in making this record, a romantic vision of the West," said Berger, who travels out West "every chance he gets."There's a great tradition of portraying the West in movies, literature and paintings, but not so much in song, he said. One reviewer described the CD as "meditations on life." Another writer said the CD is like a "love letter to the American West."Berger said the songs convey a "visual sense of place," and touch upon the "intrusion of the modern world on an idyllic existence there once was in the West."For more information about the artist, visit www.marcbergermusic.com.Tickets to the show are $15, and available at www.kafmradio.org or by calling 970-241-8801, ext. 223.