Colby Beserra | Colby Beserra

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Pop: Folky Pop Rock: Folk Rock Moods: Type: Vocal
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Colby Beserra

by Colby Beserra

A singer/songwriter who spins lyrical, abstract tales with his singular vocal style and smooth guitar playing, Colby's album is a stew of musical styles (rock, country, folk, jazz, soul) and features some of the finest players on the Chicago music scene.
Genre: Pop: Folky Pop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. What We're Missing
3:27 $0.99
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2. House Of Mirrors
3:46 $0.99
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3. Anne Marie
2:55 $0.99
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4. Bella Daroe
6:14 $0.99
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5. Mya
4:37 $0.99
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6. The Game
3:52 $0.99
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7. Won't Be Long
2:49 $0.99
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8. Baby Brother
3:59 $0.99
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9. That's My Life
4:07 $0.99
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10. Wait And See
3:41 $0.99
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11. Last Train Out (Reprise)
0:52 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
No straight line can be drawn to connect Colby's many careers as a singer, songwriter, musician, teacher, actor, director and administrator. A true generalist from the time he was in high school, Colby thrives on the many and diverse projects, people and organizations he has been involved with over the years.

After graduating from Northwestern University with a B.S. in Theater in 1996 - where he met his future wife Annie, a dancer, choreographer, teacher and administrator who actually has more jobs than Colby - Colby spent a year teaching 5th grade at the North Shore Country Day School. Hungry for more experience in bringing the arts to students, Colby enrolled in a one-year Americorps program, working with teachers in the Chicago Public Schools to integrate arts-based projects and programs into their daily classroom work.

This program led Colby to a 4-year tenure at the Northwestern Settlement House, a non-profit community center in Chicago's West Town neighborhood. Here, Colby was the Managing Director and ultimately the Director of the Vittum Theater, a 300-seat, state-of-the-art theater opened by the Settlement in 1998. Colby's time at the Vittum was spent developing programming for Chicago's students and teachers - performances, workshops and classes meant to expand students' exposure to the arts and give teachers more tools in connecting classroom studies to the larger world outside of school.

Colby contracted outside groups to perform at the Vittum, ran workshops for CPS teachers on arts integration, taught drama classes in various after school programs, worked with band and choir students to strengthen their skills in music, organized rentals, and participated in grant writing and fund raising for the theater.

But music called. In June of 2000, Colby was hired as one of the featured vocalists in the Ken Arlen Orchestra. Since then, Colby has become a Creative Consultant for Arlen Music, and is quickly becoming one of the most recognized performers and bandleaders on Chicago's social and corporate scene. With KAO, he performs over 100 gigs a year and has shared the stage with such luminaries as the Pointer Sisters, Patti LaBelle, Richard Marx, and performed at the first ever Commander-In-Chief Ball in Washington, D.C. as a part of the 2004 Presidential Inauguration. Colby has become a top choice band-leader for corporate functions and private parties at the House Of Blues in Chicago.

During this time Colby was a 2-time grant recipient from the American Composers Forum, and was able to work with students at the Lathrop Community Music Center and the Noble Street Charter School. At Lathrop, Colby was a Composer-In-Residence and helped a group of students to write, arrange and record their own songs. At Noble Street, Colby produced and directed an original theater show based on stories from the student's lives called "Telling Our Stories".

Colby turned over the reins of the Vittum to his good friend and colleague Tom Arvetis in May of 2002 and began writing the material that would ultimately make up his self-titled debut album. He also began recording with local singer-songwriter Jason Berger as a featured vocalist for his album "Lonely Mountain," and recorded an album of cover music with New York-based piano player (and old college friend) Dan Lipton titled "Jukebox Saloon."

In 2001, Colby also became involved as the Music Director for the Albany Park Theater Project, an award-winning, nationally recognized teen theater ensemble based in the Albany Park neighborhood of Chicago. Four years and six shows later, Colby has earned high marks for his collaboration with Co-Directors David Feiner and Laura Wiley in creating new inter-disciplinary work for the company. APTP shows stand as some of the most inspirational, and inspired, work of his career.

Colby also had the great pleasure of performing with his wife and close friends as a part of 2 shows by Striding Lion InterArts Workshop, a company with a dual focus on performance and education. Colby was the Music Director, one of 3 composers, and played the part of Oberon in Striding Lion's adaptation of Shakespeare's " Midsummer Night's Dream " (called " Ill Met By Moonlight ") at the Viaduct theater in 2004. He also served as Co-Music Director and performed in the Frank Zappa-inspired piece "Billy The Mountain and Other Wartime Stories " at the Elbo Room in March, June and July of 2005.

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Reviews


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Greg Gordon Smith

Thoughtful yet unpretentious, and beautifully produced
Colby Beserra has made a record that manages to evoke the golden era of slick LA studio bands while never abandoning the populism of his rural Southwestern roots. Colby at once channels Steely Dan but without the cynicism, then Skynyrd if Ronnie Van Zant had taken lessons from James Taylor. This is the kind of record you leave in your CD changer because it just sounds so good.
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Aondowase Anum

An excellent amalgamation of musical styles and lyrics
This CD distinctively, brings together several styles that are very appealing. The lyrics draw you into the music and make you a part of it. Very captivating! Beautiful music and very unique in kind. Music such as this is rare! Makes for a great gift
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marsha parker

fabulous...the world needs more colby beserras
it's intelligent, meaningful and just so wonderful to listen to. It should appeal to a wide audience as well.
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Amanda

Super-tight showcase of a singular voice
This is an independently produced CD that sounds like it was made at the top-notchest of L.A. studios. Incredibly tight playing, and no sonic detail is left undone. But really, all this seamless production is just a Waterford crystal butter dish for Beserra's singular voice and sometimes nostalgic, sometimes romantic, always crisp storytelling. I'm a big fan of the songs infused with Wilke's twangy country guitar, Beserra sounding like a cleaned-up, post-AA, returned-from-Nashville cowboy, but that speaks more to my personal musical tastes than to the album's highlights. All in all, great for driving with the windows rolled up, singing along (but not too loudly because you can't outdo the man himself), even better on a Sunday morning, pretending to read the NY Times while cuddling on the couch, blissing out.
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Brandon Ray

Excellent CD with Wide Appeal
This entire CD feels fresh, original and beautiful. Beserra's music doesn't sound like anything else out there, yet is immediately accessible. The songs on this CD bring the entire package: interesting lyrics with emotional depth and complex, unpredictable music that still delivers a great hook. "House of Mirrors", a reflection on the end of a relationship, is a gorgeous piece of songwriting, and the lush arrangements guarantee that it will be the hit of the album. "Bella Daroe" is a fun blues number that will bring down the house, and "Won't Be Long" is an upbeat country tune with a chorus that comes out of nowhere to grab you. It's kind of amazing that all these tunes come from the same source. Excellent CD, highly recommended!
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Tim Meade

Beserra's voice connects the musical dots
Colby picks you up in a boat-sized Caddy. Along the way, you realize you're shotgun in an F-150. Then it's a VW van with beaded curtains. You head home on a train.

The driving force and common denominator of the vehicle that is Colby Beserra's self-titled CD is his voice: flexible yet entirely distinctive, it connects the dots on the map of musical styles that he traverses.

The songwriting is exceptional and the rotating band of killer Chicago musicians is ready and more than able to follow him on every turn he takes.

Take the roadtrip. Hear the stories. The biggest ball of twine is the next exit on the left...
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