Storytelling in music is as old as melody. Although today’s pop music tends to focus more on “beats” than ballads, musical storytelling is still alive and well in acoustic music. Over the last seven years, Fiddlers Crossing has been bringing some of the best musical storytellers to Tehachapi.
Berkley Hart, returning for their fourth appearance in the venue May 8, is certainly in the top tier of musical storytellers. The combination of Kerrville New Folk Songwriter Award winner, Jeff Berkley, and stand-out wordsmith, Calman Hart, creates a pairing that has become one of the premier acoustic duos touring the country.
Each song they present is a little slice of contemporary life, like a little movie. It’s storytelling at its best and most succinct, whether told from the point of view of the family dog, or a single father consoling his heartbroken daughter after a disastrous prom date. The ups and downs of life are explored in their six CDs, with the piercing twists of observation in their lyrics accompanied by stunning harmonies and virtuosic guitar playing. Their live show is laced with comedy and their obvious camaraderie.
Hailing from San Diego, both Berkley and Hart emerged from the Southern California coffeehouse circuit, each building sizeable followings of their own before joining forces. As a duo for more than twelve years now, they have become fixtures on the folk circuit, making appearances at the Kerrville Folk Festival, as well as playing some of folk’s most prestigious venues.
To see a slice of the world through the eyes of these masterful storytellers, visit fiddlerscrossing.com or berkleyhart.com, and then join them live at Fiddlers Crossing on May 8.