FANWOOD, NJ -- Marc Berger headlines the season's Fanwood Performance Series presentation at the Patricia M. Kuran Cultural Arts Center on Watson Road next to Fanwood Borough Hall on Saturday, June 13.
Marc’s life has been about pursuing twin passions: creating and recording his American roots songs, and exploring remote areas of the desert and mountain West. After signing his first publishing contract while in law school, he fronted rock bands and performed regularly in New York clubs such as CBGB, Wetlands, and The Knitting Factory. All through this period, he’d find ways to get into the West, picking up details from fellow wilderness junkies about off the beaten path locales and filing them away for future reference.
Berger's music has been heard locally on WFUV 90.7 FM, New York's "Roots & Rock" station, where he has performed live on John Platt's program.
"I'm always asked about my love of the west because I grew up in the northeast. One year, I went on a summer adventure across the country and came back transformed. Then, every summer for the next five years, I got into my car and drove across the country by myself," Berger explained.
"I developed my passion to explore the west while, at same time, I was growing as a performer. My two lovers converged."
Berger believes that there are two great American myths: the Founding Fathers and the endless frontier of the American West. The second one has been handled extensively in film and painting, but certainly not to the same extent in music.
"My songs have a visual element," Berger said in an interview with TAP into SPF. "I use the term American roots; some songs sound like country, while others sound like blues. They hybridize, and you don't know exactly what the next song would sound like, but the mythology runs through them."
One song that he is likely to play in Fanwood is "Nobody Gonna Ride on the Railroad," which will tie into the Borough's historic train station.
"The song was a product of the drives I took across the country. It was before cell phones," Berger explained. "Two days into my drive, I'm in my own 'Private Idaho.' Things are feeling different once you pass Chicago. You can get off the highway and travel the roads that were replaced by the interstates and go two-lane blacktop roads for hundreds of miles from Duluth to Montana."
The singer/songwriter will play selections from his latest CD, RIDE. Inspired by his lifelong love affair with the American West, the album presents ten cinematic recordings capturing the vastness and romance of the West while exploring its deep roots in the American psyche. From the haunting message and beat of “Twister” and the soul-shaking challenge of taming a wild horse in “Take it on the Chin”, to the sexy, mind-blowing, middle-of-nowhere encounter of “Time Waits For No Man” and on through seven more scenic stops, RIDE takes listeners on a dusty tour of the Great American Frontier.
"The audience should expect a concert that is a little like a movie. It's a journey through the American Frontier," Berger said.
Also performing on June 13 will be the New York City-based acoustic duo, The Lords of Liechtenstein. The suggested donation for the show on Saturday, June 13, is $15, $10 for seniors and students.