Expect many original tunes when Santa Fe-based singer/songwriter David Berkeley, along with musicians Ben Wright, Paul Feathericci and Josh Martin, takes the Santa Fe Bandstand stage on August 3.
A touring artist for more than a decade who won the 2015 Kerrville New Folk competition and ASCAP’s Johnny Mercer Songwriting Award, Berkeley writes songs that are uplifting and celebrate the human spirit.
But, as he explains, he’s not afraid to address life’s difficulties. “Life is hard, we’re mortal and love and loss are mingled,” he adds. “My songs are about perseverance and the triumph of love, but they don’t deny hardship or the pain of losing love.”
Berkeley says it’s great to be able to play with Wright, Feathericci and Martin because “they’re all improvisational and great listeners, so we can call songs on the spot and morph from one into another without a lot of choreography.” For this show, Berkeley plans on primarily playing songs from his latest two albums, both of which were recorded in town with Jono Manson.
A David Berkeley show usually includes balancing serious songs with humor and a little bit of storytelling. For the past few years he’s become increasingly interested in how stories can relate to songs. “A lot of my songs have been inspired by life experiences that could be told in short story form,” he says.
Also appearing with Santa Fe Bandstand this week is American JeM, an award-winning trio from Santa Fe that has been nominated for eight New Mexico Music Awards. During their August 1 show, they play everything from country and folk music to gospel, bluegrass and Western swing.
“There are boundless amazing cover songs so fitting for our three-part vocal harmonies,” they say. “But we also work hard to create our own tunes and love watching people sing along with us.”
The August 5 Southside show at Swan Park features Blu Sol, a five-piece band from Albuquerque that performs R&B, funk, soul, Top 40, Spanish, country, Latin and more.