NY musician honors West, plays at GarCo libraries | PostIndependent.com

NY musician honors West, plays at GarCo libraries

Marc Berger got his first taste of the West at age 21, with a breathtaking drive along the Million Dollar Highway after coming over the Continental Divide at night. Though his home base remains central New York, a part of him stayed here. Now the Big Sky Country is the subject of his new album, “Ride.”

“I think it’s probably highly unlikely that had I grown up in the West I’d ever made this record,” he observed. “It’s probably because my first encounter was at was that it made the impression it did.”

Berger will perform songs from “Ride,” as well as some of his other work, at local libraries next week. The free shows take place June 6 in Parachute, June 7 in Silt and June 8 in Glenwood, all at 6:30 p.m.

It’s his first chance to try his concept album out on folks from the West itself, but it’s gone over well back East.

“I think you have only two great American mythologies — the foundation of democracy and the endless frontier,” he said. “Those themes are universal.”

The music itself pulls from rock, country, blues and folk. To fit the theme, it’s mostly acoustic with plenty of accordion and twangy guitar, but there’s a lot of range between the slow and echoey “Heavenly Ancients” and the upbeat “Object of my Affection.”

His tour is backed by Rob Meador on mandolin, guitar and harmony vocals.

“He’s just a fantastic musician,” Berger said.

For his next album, he’s working with Bob Dylan bandleader Tony Garnier and Norah Jones’ bassist and drummer Dan Rieser. It will also be a concept album — an attempt at genre-busting titled “Folk Music.”

“The challenge of making an album that had a river running through it was artistically challenging and a lot of fun,” he said.

For more information or to hear samples of Berger’s work, visit http://www.marcbergermusic.com.

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