Ricky Berger | Ricky Berger's First Album

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Pop: Folky Pop Folk: Folk-Jazz Moods: Solo Female Artist
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Ricky Berger's First Album

by Ricky Berger

A sweet, breathy take on pop, accented gently with folk, jazz, and sincerity.
Genre: Pop: Folky Pop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. If
2:50 $0.99
2. Shmaltz
3:54 $0.99
3. Warning
2:53 $0.99
4. Dark Brown
4:00 $0.99
5. Big Birds
3:28 $0.99
6. My Little Lamb
3:45 $0.99
7. Une Petite Berceuse
3:32 $0.99
8. Michael's Song
4:09 $0.99
9. Together Again
4:46 $0.99
10. Okle My Dokle
3:27 $0.99
11. Silly Boy, Goodnight
2:08 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"I think she's got an amazing voice and is unusually comfortable on stage for her age," says Marty DeAnda, Greene's manager and owner of the local DIG Music record label. "She's almost Judy Garland-esque. There's a core of 18-to-20-year-old kids who see her, and also a core of 35-to-60-year-olds. She's like a chanteuse from the 1940s or 1950s, but everyone can relate to her. I think she's got all the talent in the world, and if she continues to grow, she'll be a major force to be reckoned with."
-Marty Deanda, DIG Records

"...Her new CD is awesome. On it you hear Ricky with a very folksy, swingy vibe. It's often very ballady in a sing-songy sort of way. The melodies are always catchy and simple. As are the lyrics."
-Jerry Perry, 'Alive And Kicking Magazine'

"...The next morning, I hit the bike trail. The combination of sunlight, blooming poppies and overhanging vines was mildly enchanting, like one of the Pamela Colman Smith-illustrated pentacle-suit cards in the Rider-Waite tarot deck. I'd finally talked Ricky Berger into letting me rip the music from the self-explanatory Ricky Berger's First Album to my iPod, and the sweet acoustic nuances emanating from the earbuds only amplified the spell.

Now, I'm no psychic. I could predict that the world will rise and embrace these 11 songs like it fell for Norah Jones a few years ago. But this is an indie album (out at the end of June) recorded in a small local studio by Jimmy Bell. And it doesn't have a major-label machine cannily positioning it in Borders and Starbucks to ride piggyback on an NPR Terry Gross interview. But it does possess a similar Venusian magic.

The record's sound is naked, or bare enough to float on the gossamer wings of Berger's lovely voice; the instrumentation—finger-picked guitar and piano, plus frosting like the occasional flute, cello, muted trumpet, organ wash, accordion or toy xylophone—never gets in the way of her voice or the songs.

Berger's songwriting is generally superb. Her melodies lie somewhere between Harold Arlen and Joni Mitchell; the notes tend to float into your ears and rattle around for days. I've had the opening line from "Warning" greet me every morning for the past week. Her lyrics belie her age—Berger's 20—but they're young, in the sense she hasn't had those experiences yet that give lyrics real depth and dimension. Hey, give her a couple albums.

Like I said, I'm no psychic, but I have learned enough to spot someone with major star potential. And I did get a vision of the lovely Ms. Berger shyly shaking hands with David Letterman before leaving the studio audience and Paul Shaffer dumbfounded by her charms. Stranger things have happened, right?"
-Jackson Griffith, 'Sacramento News and Review'

"...The greatest part about Ricky's music is I can sit and listen to her, I don't have to be playing, and the enjoyment I get is immense. I never listen to anyone sing, or at least very rarely, but with Ricky I listen because she invokes so much of her into the song, and I feel as if she is singing to me. She takes over a room and owns it, and I'm sure everyone with-in earshot is feeling like me when she sings her tunes; it is very personal.

I have a lot of talented music friends, but thinking of Ricky, she is the one I reserve my star-quality status for."
-Ken Burnett, Mandolin Avenue

" ..."If", the opening track off Berger's soon to be released debut is that ultimate rarity in a record: an instant and unmistakable classic. Tastefully underproduced with only a fingerpicked acoustic guitar behind Berger's layered vocals, the song ranges across seven or eight decades of pop music, never settling into any era or style, but flirting with them all. "If" could just as easily be a Tin Pan Alley number from the thirties, a Mamas and Papas hit from the sixties, or what it actually is: a recent song by a charming twenty-year old chanteuse who dresses like Judy Garland and lives in Natomas with her grandmother."
-Tim Foster, 'The Midtown Monthly'

"...Berger, a Bakersfield native who's been here about two years, is that rare performer who can sing like an angel, write top-flight songs with memorable melodies and lyrics that are in turn, wry or cute, accompany her voice with guitar arrangements that are nicely thought out, with chord voicings that make other musicians snap their heads and pay attention. Add that she's young and visually stunning, and it's a small wonder this town hasn't been overrun by major-label weasels fighting to sign her. Of course, major labels aren't exactly a growth industry these days, so one would imagine that weasel battles are less common than they were a decade ago.

Case in point, a ballad titled "Shmaltz". Over a jazz-tinged, finger-picked arpeggio, itself a work of elegance, Berger's voice hung notes in the air like ornaments on a Christmas tree. I'd imagine it was like walking into some club in Los Angeles in the 1960's and not knowing who the wonderful singer was onstage, whos voice and songs were giving you chills, and finding out later that her name was Joni Mitchell."
-Jackson Griffith, 'Sacramento News and Review'



to write a review

Mark Heisser

Ricky Berger's First Album
Delightful. Just delightful. Good pitch, snazzy lyrics, alluring progressions. On a scale from 1 to awesome, I give it a "supremely stellar."