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Richard Berman | You're Home Now

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Folk: Singer/Songwriter Country: Americana Moods: Type: Lyrical
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You're Home Now

by Richard Berman

Award-winning, lyric-driven singer/songwriter whose songs, many of them stories, deal with a wide range of human experiences, from the humorous to the poignant and points in between.
Genre: Folk: Singer/Songwriter
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Quoddy Point
Richard Berman
4:11 $0.99
2. A Father and a Daughter
Richard Berman
3:14 $0.99
3. Appointment in Samarra
Richard Berman
2:56 $0.99
4. Slow Night in My Cab
Richard Berman
4:36 $0.99
5. You're Home Now
Jamie Anderson
4:05 $0.99
6. County Clare
Richard Berman
3:42 $0.99
7. My Mother Is Religious
Richard Berman
3:42 $0.99
8. Parting as Friends
Richard Berman
3:27 $0.99
9. Marianna
Richard Berman
3:57 $0.99
10. The Devil and Miss Hattie
Richard Berman
3:24 $0.99
11. The Gambler
Richard Berman
3:39 $0.99
12. Miss Hattie's Story
Richard Berman
4:20 $0.99
13. The Token of Scotty's Affection
Richard Berman
3:24 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
"This man has the gift."

...So said the late Utah Phillips, legendary figure in American folk music, after hearing Richard Berman sing at the Kerrville Folk Festival's Ballad Tree in 1992. And Richard has used that gift to write many songs that tell moving, true stories. "Gil's Song", the song that prompted Utah Phillip's appraisal, is the tale of a Wyoming sheepherder's one brief attempt at closeness and its consequences. Humor, too, is part of Richard's performance, as in "Monopoly", his first-person account of the power of that game on behavior, and "The Kids Are Back", his take on the latest stage in family development, both songs from Richard's second CD, Love Work and Play.

His third CD, Dreamer, included his first songs of requited love, "A Love Song" and "Here And Now" and the haunting "The Fortune Told". Both Love, Work and Play and Dreamer were chosen "One of the Best Folk Albums" of 1996 and 1998, respectively, by Rich Warren, host of "The Midnight Special" on WFMT in Chicago, the longest continuously running folk radio show in the country. Richard's 4th CD, Storied Lives, won the 2001 Just Plain Folks Award for "Best Traditional Folk" CD. It includes the memorable, ironic story song "On the Mexican Coast", a song featured on the compilation disks Artists for Change and Songs for a Better Planet, Volume II. 2005 saw the release of Holding Hands which was chosen one the "Top Ten Albums" of the year by Maggie Ferguson of WXOU and one of the eleven "Essential CDs" of 2005 by Bill Hahn of WFDU.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Richard left the city to go to college in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He has lived most of his adult life in Amherst, Massachusetts with his wife and two children. Richard received an MSW and worked as a therapist for years with children and families. He has also taught as a classroom teacher in the Amherst public schools. Drawing on his experiences as a husband, therapist, teacher, father and son, he has written songs that impart his understandings of people and their situations in direct and compelling ways.

Richard Berman first received national recognition in folk circles for his work by winning the 1992 Napa Valley Folk Festival's Emerging Songwriters Contest. He went on to win the 1995 South Florida Folk Festival's songwriting contest, was selected to showcase at the 1997 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival and was chosen to do so again in 2001. In 1999 Richard won the Sierra Songwriters Festival's songwriting contest. In 2000 he was a finalist at The Wildflower Festival's songwriting contest, the winner of the Rose Garden Coffeehouse Songwriting Contest and was a finalist in the Kerrville Folk Festival's New Folk songwriting contest, a selection that was repeated in 2001. In 2003 he won the Susquehanna Music and Arts Festival's songwriting contest. Over the past dozen years Richard has performed in coffeehouses, clubs, festivals and house concerts in the Northeast, the Southwest, and California, and has toured in Ireland, England, Wales and Sweden. Among the clubs he has played at is the Bluebird Café in Nashville, TN, where he was selected to showcase in 1994 and came back to play again in 1996, 1998, 2001, 2005, 2007, and 2009.

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Reviews


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Larry Looney

Richard Berman - You're home now
Richard Berman
You’re home now
Aries Records, 2014

I’ll say up front that I’ve known Richard Berman for many years, and loved his work from the first time I heard him. His songs are honest and real and come from the heart, painting lyrical pictures of characters that become flesh and blood in the mind of the listener – whether they’re based on ‘real people’ (individuals or composites), characters from stories, or have sprung straight from Richard’s imagination. Listening to these songs feels like renewing a conversation with an old friend – I’m not sure there’s any higher praise than that, and I give it freely.

The souls that populate Richard’s songs deal with the same emotions, boons and pitfalls as all of us. Love, loss, joy, sadness, hard times, grief and hope can all be found here. There are highs and lows to be found in the human spirit – both coming and going. We deal with them all, and if we set our heart and mind to it, we move on through the lows and bask in the highs. It’s the points of the journey that lie in between the two extremes that exist in the shadows – and Richard’s songs have a way of leading the listener into contemplation that help pass the time and the miles in a way that, if we allow ourselves to be more open to the world in which we live, help us bear the sorrows long enough to find the joys.

One of Richard’s most moving songs, ‘Holding hands’ (from the album of the same name) finds resolution in the title track of this new release. It concerns two women, friends of Richard, walking through a Wal-Mart in Alamogordo, New Mexico, holding hands – the reactions from those watching them were sadly predictable, and Richard’s song made note of this and expressed a deep hope that tolerance would grow, and that people would come to accept love in all its forms for the gift that it is. Their story is continued in ‘You’re home now’, sung here beautifully by Jamie Anderson, a friend of the two women, wonderfully depicting the longed-for acceptance they sought.

In ‘The token of Scotty’s affection’, Richard revisits the game of Monopoly in a way that is wistful but ultimately gently humorous – things change but not necessarily for the worse. It’s a theme that runs through his work like a gold thread in a tapestry, skillfully woven into the lyrics, sometimes so subtly that we don’t recognize it until we’re really listened – and that’s one of the signs of a great writer.

I’ve heard several of these other songs from Richard in person – ‘Quoddy Point’ (co-written with the fine songwriter Buddy Mondlock), ‘A father and a daughter’, ‘Marianna’, as well as at least a couple of parts of the ‘Miss Hattie’ trilogy. Like all of Richard’s work, these songs are personal and universal at the same time – he draws them from within, and from life experiences, but presents them in such a way that they are almost instantly recognizable as a part of us. There’s no pretense or ego driving this music – just honest feelings, heartfelt words and beautiful, memorable melodies.

The production on the cd, by Max Cohen (who also worked with Richard on his ‘Now and then’ album), is just about as perfect as it could be. The musicians who appear here are well-seasoned, sensitive and supportive, and the arrangements never get in the way of the songs, but compliment and frame them, just as they should. This is, quite simply, a fine album – it fits nicely with the rest of Richard’s catalogue, and by all rights should find a comfortable and rewarding home in many collections.

Highly recommended.
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