Born In : New Yorker
Occupation(s) : American singer
Genres : American Roots Music
Agent : Real Records
Web Site : More information

Since he was a child, Marc Berger’s life has been about following his greatest passions: creating and recording his American roots songs, and exploring isolated parts of the desert and mountain West.

While he studied law, he was also a frontman and performed regularly in various clubs around New Your City. All through this period, he’d find ways to get into the West, picking up details from fellow wilderness junkies about off the beaten path locales and filing them away for future reference. On one of these trips, he became intrigued by the cover of THE BIG IT, a book of short stories by A.B. Guthrie he found on a revolving paperback rack in a Navajo reservation trading post. It got him thinking about using his travels to create a set of songs in the cultural tradition of writers like Guthrie and visual artists like John Ford and Frederick Remington. Marc and Co-Producer Mike Ricciardi now present RIDE, ten cinematic recordings reflecting his romantic connection to the American West and exploring the value of its myths to contemporary culture.

In an interview, Marc shares: “I wrote my first songs while in law school. Still, don’t know why. What happens a few weeks before starting law school is unlike any of your prior pre-school (not the kiddy deal) experiences. One day in August, you make a trip to your mailbox and find a large envelope. It’s been sent courtesy of your new law school. You open it up and find reading assignments numbering in the hundreds of pages, actually court opinions, which are to be “read” prior to the first class in each of your courses. What makes this doubly interesting (singly being that school hasn’t even started), is that the step where you learn how to read a case has been wholly omitted.

Thus begins the process which prompts law school newbies to seriously contemplate suicide a la The Paper Chase. Over the course of the next three years, the skills needed to extract the few essential kernels of legal significance out of a veritable ocean of verbosity are acquired. So while by the time I graduated, certain I didn’t want to spend the rest of life on the phone with my fellow students, it may surprise you to hear that this songwriter absolutely loved the rigors of a legal education. In fact, he saw its positive effects on his songwriting. It somehow translated to an approach to writing song lyrics which prized succinctness, cogent narrative progression and an intense aversion to verse matter that repeated any thought previously articulated.

Those first songs were really bad, but by the time I graduated, I’d written a few that I thought didn’t suck and brought them to music publishers who, to my amazement, offered me contracts. So while I’m not sure I’d urge fledging songwriters to sign up for law school prep courses, for me it’d be easy to defend the argument that the study of law made me a better songwriter.”

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Marc Berger

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