Indie Pulse Music: Thanks for taking the time, Deborah. Please tell us about your latest EP, “New Road Home.”
Deborah Berg: Thank you Indie Pulse. Sure, my latest EP, New Road Home is my third solo record. I worked closely with my small band of brothers, Chris Tedesco, Charlie Giordano and Richard Hammond and my steadfast producer, Ken Rich in Brooklyn NY. We recorded everything last summer. I would have to say the whole recording time felt really easy, I guess because we kept the music arrangements very simple. We mostly recorded live and added very few overdubs. The feel of the record suits the style of songwriting. These are storytelling songs. I wanted to keep the recording methods as simple as possible. I do love the feel of the record, I think we did good!
IPM: Your current single, “You’re Gone” has done very well on the national airplay charts. What do you attribute that to?
DB: Thanks so much, yes. Well, besides the fact that it is a very catchy, upbeat song with a good solid backing band a seasoned vocalist and an interesting story line I would have to thank my promotions company, Star1 Group for their work in getting the song to the radio airwaves. The song itself comes right in with the vocal line. There is no 4 or 8 bar introduction and I wonder if that immediacy of the vocal starting right up might have had some influence in catching the attention of those awesome DJ’s telelpathic ears. But honestly, who knows what makes a song soar? I do hope listeners enjoy hearing how the song comes right in with the vocal and the galloping tempo and old school, country sentiment as well.
IPM: If there was one band that you would have loved to be in, aside from your current situation, what band would that be, and why?
DB: I love singing harmonies and playing acoustic guitar so my dream band would probably be to play and sing with, Trio, with Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt. Those gals were tremendously talented and downright magic. I would maybe like to add more players, for a fuller richer band sound but just the three voices were so high quality, the group needed very little else. That truly would be a dream band. I would also love to join Jason Isbell’s band!
IPM: How did your rootsy style of music develop over the years? What bands/artists would your fans be surprised to know that you like listening to?
DB: I like listening to music of all kinds, Folk, World, Reggae, Rock and Roll, Rhythm and Blues, Jazz, Swing, Blues, New Age, Hip Hop, I listen to a lot of music! Besides my more obvious musical interests like, Gillian Welch, John Prine, John Hiatt, I also happen to love New Order, Talking Heads, Django Reinhardt, Tom Petty and Amy Winehouse. How I got to my rootsy style of music developed from playing so many years with country and bluegrass players and it turns out, my guitar playing lends itself to an old fashioned, Americana style because I usually fingerpick the bass notes on my guitar when I play and sing, like how Mother Maybelle Carter used to play.
Once Ken and I figured that out, it was easier to just keep the song arrangements simple so Richard and I don’t step all over each others bass parts My band mates are generous and intuitive. They pick up what I put down, thank god! It is also valuable in a band to keep a sense of humor at all times!
IPM: How is the music scene in New York? Any live shows coming up for you?
DB: The music scene is always happening here in New York. An amazing artist is most likely performing here every night, I swear. I have many talented friends who are active performers and the gig announcements just never stop. We have had some private events and recording sessions this summer and I will be heading out to the Pacific Northwest for some retreat songwriting and jamming in the woods with some fine musician folks. My band and I plan to play out again in September. I will keep you posted!
IPM: What 3 venues would you most like to perform at locally, nationally and internationally?
DB: Here in the New York City I would love to play at Joes’ Pub at the Public Theatre. It is a classy, large, listening room with a good soundboard and great acoustics. Plus, they have an interesting food menu and their own mixologist! It is just basically a more high-end venue than the bars and clubs I am accustomed to. Ha!
I would also love to someday play at Wayne Henderson’s Music Festival down in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia. Wayne is a wonderful old time finger picking teacher and a renowned luthier who I have known for quite a few years now. I would love to get my band down to his festival one of these summers. He is just a warm-hearted human being, kind, funny and very supportive. He tells a story about his grandma’s squirrel head gravy recipe that just cracks me up.
I would also love to play at The Maverick Festival in Suffolk, England. Apparently Country and Americana music is very big in Suffolk England. Who knew?! It is a remnant of what the Yanks brought over during WWII when they were stationed there. I have close friends nearby and they are hounding me to get my act together, literally! The locals enjoyed Americana music like mine and have continued to support and promote it through the decades. It sounds like fun to me!
IPM: What has been the highlight of your music career so far?
DB: I would have to say, being signed to Warner Brothers with my former band, Eye to Eye in the 1980’s was quite a thrill. Meeting and working with such accomplished musicians was an absolute honor. Julian Marshall and I recorded two albums with Warner Brothers along with a third independent album. I will always be grateful for that amazing high end musical experience. It was quite an education and it turbo-started my musical career.
Another more recent amazing moment was being given the opportunity to sing a gospel solo at Middle Collegiate Church, on a CBS special last year for Christmas Eve. In my entire career, there has been nothing quite as powerful as singing a gospel solo with a forty-piece gospel choir singing response right behind you!
IPM: What advice would you have to offer a young musician, just getting started in the business?
DB: My advice to young musicians of every age is to allow yourself to play live music with others as often as possible. Before the press kit, before the management company, before Garage band, before designing the merchandise, know your musical talent. As a singer and guitar player, my experience is that seasoned musicians are mostly real saps when it comes to hungry beginners. If a newbie steps into a song circle and says, “I only know three chords”, most people will not mind if you attempt a solo, explore the neck, find the melody, find something musical, even if you only use one string! Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to a group of jamming musicians and say, “I’m new at this, do you mind if I sit in”? Kudos to you, by the way, for breaking through any crippling fear and insecurity.
IPM: Any plans for a follow up single to “You’re Gone,” and if so, when do you think you’ll have that ready? Will there be a music video for either release?
DB: Thanks for asking, Yes, I do believe there is a follow up single to our chart topper, You’re Gone! I think our follow up single will be a song called Muddy Weather. It is another up-tempo, uplifting song on the album that I think would dovetail well with the sound and style that people enjoyed on, You’re Gone. And yes! We do have a professionally filmed live performance video of Muddy Weather for your viewing pleasure, coming up soon!
IPM: Thanks for taking the time. Good luck, Deborah!
DB: Thank you very much, it was a pleasure talking with you.
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