Song List: Morning Walk, Pipehorn Backstep, Buster’s Farewell, Blackwater Flood at Buffalo Creek, Abbey Creek, Mussel Rock, Dutch Flatt, Payne Gap, Western Crossing, Scotch Hops.
Some projects are completed in a short time; others take longer periods of time and need to mature and mellow before they are ready to present to the world. Dave Berry has been involved with mandolin playing for some time and over the years has ventured into writing his own songs. As he gathered his songs for this project, he enlisted the help of many of his Bay Area friends, and each contributor added some nuances of sound that make the songs delightful to hear, and if your feet are so inclined, add a spring to your step and maybe a joy to your heart. Instrumentals are hardest to compose and the song titles only give clues to the meaning conveyed by the mixture of the instruments.
Dave lives near the Bernal Hill that is pictured on the cover, and “Morning Walk” has Simon Chrisman’s dulcimer, and Leslie Chin’s whistles adding an Irish lilt to the song. “Pipehorn Backstep” isn’t a hornpipe, but it has a fiddle and banjo combo that invites dancing.. The mournful “Buster’s Farewell” features Brandon Godman on fiddle matched with Henry Salvia’s piano. Henry also plays accordion in tandem with Dave on mandolin, Aaron Zorndorf’s lead guitar, and Andy Lentz’s fiddle on “Western Crossing” as the wagons roll across the plains. “Blackwater Flood” begins with banjo and fiddle rollicking in the stream’s turmoil, as a coal mine disaster unfolds. While most of the songs have location connections, “Scotch Hops” isn’t a beverage component, but a bouncy song with hop scotch jumps. A more amazing detail to the album is the fact that all the instrumental parts were coordinated and blended online!