A Terrific New Traditional Album Enters the Scene from The Berger Sisters
Sometimes I come across (or rather something comes across me) a new album that impresses me with its quality and earnestness. Maybe So by The Berger Sisters is one of those albums.
I know Melody Allegra Berger from her fiddle work with Gangstagrass, the hip-hop bluegrass band which she recently left. Her sister Mariel plays guitar and keyboards, and is the primary songwriter on this album. They are joined by Zoe Guigueno on bass; I have seen her perform several times with other bands. All contribute vocals.
Two-thirds of the songs on the album were penned by Mariel, with the others being traditional songs. All the songs sound traditional to my ears, to the point where if I did not recognize them I would not know which are originals and which are traditional.
In all the songs, Melody’s fiddle shines. I may be a bit biased since I know her. This music is a bit different than what I have heard from her in the past, but no less wonderful.
The song that entrances me most is “Again Tomorrow”. You can hear their beautiful harmonies as well as all three instruments. The song that showcases their harmonies best is “Uncovered Lives”.
The first time I listened to the album, I wanted more. It is longer than an EP, but contains only nine songs. I hope they tour in support of this album and may the tour bring them to Boston!
Here are some brief biographies of Melody, Mariel and Zoe:
“Award winning fiddler Melody Allegra Berger has been playing violin since the age of five and is classically trained in both violin and voice. She fell in love with bluegrass over 10 years ago and has been raising a ruckus ever since. You can hear her on Season 2, Episode 5 of House of Cards in a scene where she also coached an actor to look like he was fiddling. When she isn’t performing around NYC she’s touring the world with bluegrass/hip hop superstars Gangstagrass, Emmy-nominated for their theme song on the hit series Justified. Check out their new album American Music which debuted at number 5 on the Billboard Bluegrass Albums chart.
“Mariel Berger has been composing music since infancy and playing piano since she was 4 years old. Some highlights in her varied career include opening for Mos Def (now known as Yasiin Bey) while accompanying singer Lilla D’Mone, subbing in the Broadway pit band for Evita and touring through Europe creating sound for the project You & Me. She likes to write dreamy, honest, and heart-felt songs.
“The sisters are thrilled to have Zoe Guigueno on this album, former bass player for Joy Kills Sorrow and current bass player for Grammy nominated all lady bluegrass band Della Mae.”