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Stephen Berg
Stephen Berg
Champlin, MN  USA
April 16, 2008
8,146 plays
I've been playing guitar forever, and sometimes seem helplessly lost in the 70's. I am old enough to not understand the music my kid listens too, which is pretty bad because as a kid I couldn't understand why my parents didn't like my music. After several high school band disasters with names like Umm and The Polish Disco and Blues Band I graduated to playing in several college near disasters, including The Weebles (we fell down) and The Necroids (existential punk rock), and The Mods. Most of the gigs I do now are solo in nature, and if I need a band I have a small cadre of musicians I can draw from. My writing tends to lean toward the political, but it is always personal. The best piece of advice I ever got was to write about what you know. I use folk influences and elements of seventies rock. I tend to be blues based when playing electric guitar and more folk based on the acoustic guitar. I am forced to be a multi-instrumentalist when recording, and find I enjoy branching out. I also play Irish Bouzouki, dulcimer, bass, and drums.
Band/artist history
I knocked around the Christian Rock scene for a couple years, playing with a good band and doing approximately 25 shows. That slowly ground to a halt. Highlights were a gig at the New Union (from which most of my live CD is culled from), as well as playing many churches. The most steady gig I have is our annual porch concert which is a fundraiser for various causes, most lately for Hope 4 Youth, a drop-in center for homeless youth. The Christian music industry tends to be as commercial as the secular industry, and you are really limited in what you can write. I don't label myself that way anymore. I've contributed music to some video projects by friends, played the odd session, and have been involved in worship music for some time. I have released several independent CDs, including one solo guitar cd. I rock (except when I don't).
Have you performed in front of an audience?
I play occasionally at coffee house situations and with a band mostly for political fundraisers. The porch concerts are pretty special to me. The three that I have done (they are annual affairs) are the most fun I have playing.
Your musical influences
I draw a lot of my musical influences from folk, classic rock, and the "singer/songwriter" model, such as Cat Stevens, Todd Snider, or Bruce Cockburn. Bob Dylan through the mid eighties remains vital to me. Other influences out there are Deep Purple, The Beatles, The Kinks, Charlie Maguire, Peter Case, Al Stewart, Jethro Tull, Blackmore's Night, Sex Pistols, Arlo Guthrie, Buddy Guy, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Pearls Before Swine, George Harrison, Bert Jansch, Leo Kottke, Liquid Mind, Alex DeGrassi, Michael Gulezian, Frank Zappa, The Sweet, Lyle Lovett, Shawn Colvin, The Flamin' Oh's, Kate Wolf, Kate Bush, among many others.
What equipment do you use?
Fender, Sterling, Tree Strings, Laguna, Squier, Charvel, and Ibanez electrics. Crafter, Blue Moon, Cordoba, Fender, Yamaha, and Alvarez acoustics. Vox, Bugera, Fender, Boss, and Ampeg amps. Some pedals. I currently record with a Tascam DP-24 and on occasion a Tascam DP-04.
Anything else?
Buy my stuff. Play it over and over. Like fine wine, it ages well.
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