For those who loved the early days of country rock, allow me to introduce Chris Berardo and the DesBerardos. Evidently schooled in the art of what country rock should really be, they have taken the best of the early days and brewed the stew that satisfies. Throughout this twelve song album (the 12th track is a bonus, an early take of Forty Years complete with extemporaneous noise), these guys spread the joy like it was the early seventies all over again, echoing the soul of the very early Eagles (before Bernie Leadon left, not wanting to sell his soul to the devil) and Cowboy and early Pure Prairie League and Mason Proffit and Heartsfield and a handful of others who were not mimicking the music but who actually felt it.
The overriding feel on the whole is similar to the first Eagles album, light and bouncy with the touches of country over solid easy-going rock. And it doesn't hurt that Berardo has the touch when it comes to such songs, writing the ten solid originals included here (the only non-original is Passenger Side by Jeff Tweedy and the band nails it like it does the others). Berardo's voice amplifies the similarity, having that combination of Glenn Frey and Don Henley, depending upon track, and the backing vocals on some songs, especially One Silver Rider, could have been lifted from that band as well.
I do a disservice to the DesBerardos if I make it sound like they are nothing more than a tribute band because they are not. Maybe what I am trying to convey is a feeling. I lived those days in the early seventies and dove into country rock head first. This album takes me back to those days of mustaches and long hair and vests and a time when back to the country meant something. I get the same rush from this album that I get every time I put on Robert Thomas Velline's Nothing Like a Sunny Day or the first Uncle Jim's Music album. It is rejuvenation on a huge scale for me. Huge. Just call me a desberardo waiting for a train.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2007, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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