Marc Douglas Berardo,
Harbor
(Prime Numbers, 2005;
Munga, 2006)

I love this. Every once in awhile, a great CD falls into my lap and I'm stoked. This is why I review CDs: to discover someone I've never heard of and in the normal course of life, probably never would.

Marc Douglas Berardo is one such writer. His new CD, Harbor, is lovely and well worth the listen.

Let me say right from the beginning, this man can write. I wasn't sure with the first cut, "Blue Wave," but he had me from the second cut on. "Shake Out the Dust," the second track, is a beautifully written story of the impact cancer has on a family. It's told in simple straightforward images -- written like a conversation and so effective. I was there.

"Take It Along" is simple, that's how good Berardo is. He writes easily with careful images and great tunes. I want to sing his songs. His voice is similar to John Prine and others like him, and maybe that's where the success lies. It is so difficult to write simply and well. Berardo does both. It also helps that he can certainly play his guitar.

He tells stories about his life in "Where the Road Turns to Shell & Sand" and the beautiful title track, "Harbor," which describes life in a port town dependant on the fishing industry and his love of the sea. These are real-life stories and, in the hands of a good writer, all that more believable. It's not surprising that folks are paying attention to Berardo. He's been a winner and finalist in a lot of songwriting contests. He deserves it.

Most of the CD is acoustic but there are a few rootsy songs as well. The similarity between Berardo and Prine comes through on these. I must say that I wasn't as drawn to them, I'm more partial to the softer side. But the writing still impressed me. He's good.

There is a song called "Abuse" that starts with "Go down Moses, go down Abraham/save the child from the wretched men...." I love it. I did have one little beef ... there are some clanging non-rhymes in Berardo's lyrics. As a writer, I noticed.

Visit Berardo's website for more info on his music. It is a good CD and worth a listen, if only to hear Berardo's words.

by Jane Eamon
Rambles.NET
15 April 2006



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