" In a world awash with so many false musical prophets, Pete Berwick is the last rock and roll renegade!”
Lucas Campbell, Rock Of Ages Radio Show, UK
Singer/songwriter Pete Berwick's fourth and newest CD, "Give It Time," has hit the street. Once again, Berwick delivers plenty of grit and spit throughout the 11-song collection done in his trademark rootsy, bluesy, punky, country–rock style. Opening track, "Renegade," sets the pace for this wild romp through what's best described as Americana music straight from hell's rowdiest and raucous roadhouse.
Tom Lounges, NW Indiana Times
Walk into any redneck bar in Chicago or Louisville or Pittsburgh on a Saturday night and you'll hear guys like Pete Berwick banging away. This is tavern music, loud and proud, big boozy vocals, gratuitous guitar solos and plenty of defiant songs about beer, motorcycles, bad bosses and lousy girlfriends.
But, after 30 years of bar-hoping, Berwick is better than that and you would have heard of him by now if he stuck to one genre, say country, or rock, or punk. But, he's all that and while critics have praised him, record execs and venue bookers haven't known what to do with him.
Too bad. Berwick has achieved the kind of authenticity that so many roadhouse bands think they have.
The album opens with “Renegade,” a Joe Strummer thrasher straight off “London Calling.” The banging drums and pounding piano behind “I Keep Waiting” also screams late-70s, while “Won't Give it Up” veers into Velvet Underground territory.
When things do slow down a bit, it's for big clanging ballads like “My Heart is on Hold” and “Can I Smile Today,” ungentle songs of raw heartache.
Chris Jergenson, Billings Gazette
Blurt-approved Nashville rocker kicks asses (and takes no prisoners) on his upcoming album Give It Time, issued by Shotgun Records.
Rev. Keith A. Gordon
I dunno, just when I think that this whole promising alt-country thing has run its inevitable course, someone comes along to renew my faith in the ghost of Gram Parsons. Singer/songwriter Pete Berwick has been walking that Lonesome Highway by all by himself for more years than he'd probably care to add up, but in the hallowed tradition of Hank, JC, Gram, and all those other cosmic troubadours that ran afoul of Nashville's corporate Music Row and decided to just do the damn thing their way, Berwick continues to amaze and astound with each new collection of songs.
I'm proud to say that Berwick is a friend of mine, and Peter knows me well enough to know that I'd call bullshit if he dared to deliver anything short of greatness. No worries, 'cause Give It Time is his latest, a near-perfect melding of country and rock music, Berwick channeling the reckless energy and boundless enthusiasm of Hank Williams and Elvis Presley in creating an album that leans heavily towards the punk side of the cowpunk equation, the singer and songwriter sounding as pissed-off and proud as any nineteen year old. After decades suffering the indignities and insults of the music biz, Berwick remains a streetwalkin' cheetah with a heart full of napalm, and with Give It Time he's once again rolled the bones and come up with snake-eyes.
The album-opening "Renegade" is a defiant statement of purpose, an outlaw credo delivering with an unimaginable fury that is as hardcore punk in spirit as anything that you'll hear from either the punk-rock or alt-country crowd. With unbridled guitars chomping at your eardrums, syncopated rhythms and fierce vocals deliver the (autobiographical?) tale of living fast, dying young, and leaving behind a burned-out corpse. Berwick slows the pace only slightly for "I Keep Waiting," an unabashed rocker with a heart of gold, swirling guitars and bash-crash rhythms creating a disconcerting wall of sound on top of which Berwick lays down his whiskey-soaked vocals and one of the greasiest, most fulfilling guitar solos you'll ever hear. In the distant background, Jason Botka's honky-tonk piano-pounding sounds like the din creeping out of a back alley barroom.
"Won't Give It Up" is another crucified rocker that displays Berwick's deft touch as a wordsmith, the song's blistering soundtrack pumped up by Berwick's non-stop verbal barrage. Shaking a bloody fist at the record-making establishment, Berwick spits out muscular lines like "you wanna see scars, I got 'em"; "the world don't care if you live or die, one man laughs while another cries"; and "gotta make a stand for something, ain't settling for nothing"; and "tell me are you really satisfied, do you think that it's too late to try, maybe for you but not for me...I won't give it up!" Nashville's star-making machinery may have turned its back on Berwick and his fellow travelers on the fringe of "polite" country music, but this is one hombre that ain't going down without a fight, not while there's still one last breath and a chance to spit in authority's face.
Even the ballads on Give It Time ("My Heart Is On Hold") rattle and clank like rusty machinery beneath the weight of the songwriter's angst and frustration. Berwick imbues the song with so much heartache and anguish that you'll bury your head under the bedcovers for a week if you approach the tune without caution. None of the songwriting-by-committee that creates many of Music Row's hits these days comes anywhere close to expressing the sort of emotion and fire that you'll find in "My Heart Is On Hold," the song's conflicted protagonist turning his back on love to venture off into the uncertain badlands walked by lonesome wanderers from Ricky Nelson and Dion to Bruce Springsteen and Steve Earle. To lighten up the load a bit after better than a half-dozen mind-numbing exercises in seriously heartfelt songwriting, the humorous rave-up "Beer" is a cleverly glib ode to that golden-brown honky-tonk beverage favored worldwide.
Berwick is an outlaw and outcast by choice, not by marketing, and the magic displayed by "Falling From The Circle Of Love" shows that he can write commercial country fare with the best of 'em...hell, better than just about any of them, really, and some smart label suit could score a big hit for one of his artists with this elegant love song. That would make ol' Pete a bundle of well-deserved cash, and besides, nobody is going to do the song better, Berwick's leathery vocals standing in stark contrast to the song's elegant construction and Botka's wonderful pianowork. "The Sadness In Your Eyes" is another fine romantic moment, kind of bittersweet and tear-stained but evidence of the deepness of Berwick's talent, a Dylanesque ballad with sweeping grandeur and finely-crafted lyrics that, again, in the right hands, could earn the songwriter a truck full o' cash and accolades. Berwick's breaking-heart delivery could never be equaled, however, his weathered vocals balanced on the edge of tears, accompanied by female backing harmonies and a filigree acoustic guitar solo that is simply outstanding.
Ten songs in, you figure that Give It Time has run its course, and you'd be as wrong as you could be to overlook "When." This epic stream-of-consciousness rant is Berwick's "Eve of Destruction," his "Jungleland," his "Positively 4th Street" all rolled into one massive, monster, six-minute-plus song. "When" opens with a spacey, almost psychedelic guitar-driven intro before Berwick's battered acoustic chimes in and the vocals jump off..."how long must we wait" Berwick screams towards the heavens. "As the road goes on and on, how will we know when we are there?" he asks, "time is a deceiver that's got us in its grasp." Hell, Berwick throws out enough ideas, concepts, and questions in this one tune to fuel six or eight other songs. Man's longstanding philosophical conundrums are echoed in Berwick's existential "how long must we wait?" In this case, though, the song only gets stronger, louder, and more strident as it rolls along, Berwick's tone growing in urgency, his questions more potent, his anger and frustration more apparent as the instrumentation swells to a cacophonic assault. It's like Berwick's brain busted open and all the shit that's been mugging him for years comes pouring out in one powerful, uncensored blast of white light/white heat. In the end, no answers are to be had, just a song that is rock 'n' roll at its core, and the nagging, enduring final question "how long must we wait?"
A lot of pundits have spilled a lot of ink (and electrons) talking about the end of the music industry...well, Pete Berwick is dancing on the graves of all those Music Row naysayers, and with Give It Time he takes the D.I.Y. aesthetic to an entirely different level. There are few artists that will create an album this personal, this emotional, and this powerful in this year, or any other for that matter...the kids on the indie-rock tip just aren't ready and willing to reveal themselves so openly, no matter what little lyrical clues they send their audience. Give It Time is the real deal, though, a postcard from the edge from a middle-aged country-rocker who has looked into the abyss and stomped all over his inner demons, doubts, and frustrations to emerge on the other side even stronger and more pissed off than before. Let's hope that Berwick continues to make music as engaging, vulnerable, and potent as that on Give It Time, 'cause dammit, the man is speaking for all of us who want, and deserve something better from our entertainment than Taylor Swift and Rascal Flatts.
Rev. Keith A. Gordon, Blurt Magazine
If any man deserves the title of hardcore troubadour, then it's cowpunk pioneer Pete Berwick. For thirty years
this veteran has imperturbably been pushing on, proving himself as a great songwriter, and many Nashville writers may have attempted to come close, but Pete Berwick can not be intimidated. Pete Berwick is an unyielding figure, and if you like Berwick's slogan "You Can't Kill A Man Who Is Born To Hang" then no further explanation is necessary on the man's grit, tenacity and attitude. With his fourth album "Give It Time", he puts the finishing touches to a magnificent production that goes from pure punk to country rock to solid alt-country.
Guys like Pete Berwick may not be appreciated by the traditional country scene, but music critics and insiders can appreciate his qualities many times over. His three previous albums won critical acclaim, and several of his songs landed in film and television, including a #5 position on the satellite radio charts.
I have no idea how many smoky bars Berwick had to play or how many glasses of beer or Jack Daniels he had to knock back up to earn the crackling, hoarse voice that he manages to squeeze lyrics from, but the fact is that even the coarsest sandpaper is unable to compete with the bone cutting edge which Berwick emits. Who thought that Shane MacGowan of the Pogues had a claim in the most grating voice of the world must urgently get a dose of Berwick.
The album shoot off like fireworks through the living room, with the first five songs that present themselves as smashing rockers with first and foremost, the pure punk rocker "Renegade", a song that both Joe Strummer and Joey Ramone from their graves would approve highly of. The second song "I Keep Waiting" is a sing along stadium
rocker gauranteed to create a moshpit and insisting to be cranked from radio stations everywhere. In the dirty garage rocker "Is That What You Tellin 'Me" you can feel feel the anger spititng out like rusty shards in Pete's voice over high octane rockabilly guitars . It is only at song number six we are given a chance to breath, with a Graham Parker feel, in the beautiful, emotional rock ballad "My Heart Is On Hold", featuring a romantic-sounding guitar intro followed by an overwhelming powerful chorus, which Berwick passionately cries out, propelled by powerful guitars. In the festive Steve Earle-esqe country rocker "Beer" you can picture the blue coller crowd downing beers as a honky tonk piano clanks away in the corner.
Berwick is a true all-rounded songwriter, because with "Falling From The Circle Of Love" he puts himself in the league of Bruce Springsteen ballad writing, in his own raw style, followed by the only sad note of the album, bundled in a sad, yet powerful ballad with the explanatory title "The Sadness In Your Eyes", solemnly filled with Hammond organ and piano accents and a gentle acoustic guitar. The album closes with the stately ballad begging rocking "When", where Berwick, concerned over the state of violence and injustice in this world, asks for a solution for all these sins which even God cannot help. Pete Berwick be an outlaw, but his the heart in the right place.
Pete Berwick with "Give It Time" has delivered one hell of an album that both his reputation as a solid songsmith and a cowpunker seeks to highlight. Chairs aside, the volume knob to the right and the finger on the repeat button, because this album demands to be played over and over again. It's that good.
I usually do critiques and CD plugs during the show (with a follow up blog of course) but with the show currently on hiatus due to my work schedule I really didn't want to wait to talk about Pete's new CD so here I am at 1 in the morning after a long day. So if I babble a bit here please forgive...lol
First let me just say that when I listened to Pete's previous CD (Just Another Day in Hell) I always thought that it would be a tough act to follow. I should have known Pete would pull it off with his latest release that just came out this week. Give It Time makes no apologies with it's honesty while offering encouragement for the future and an ice cold beer along the way. While not a complete departure from Pete's "cowpunk" roots it does offer a more hard rocking punch with a bit of the Berwick sarcasm thrown in for good measure. This CD like all of Pete's music is real life, and nothing like the bubblegum crap the industry likes to try to shove down our throats. This is real music for real people, I would defiantly recommend this and I very strongly encourage anyone who would like to know what real music sounds like to go to http://www.peteberwick.net and pick up a copy.
I have to say that it's because of Pete Berwick that I can ride in the car in peace with my wife. As I've mentioned before my better half and I don't have the same taste in music and traveling together can sometimes be a trial. I like hard rocking music, with a bit of country and blues thrown in, while she likes high paced dance music, rap and too much of the RIAA's spoonfed, homogenized bullshit (sorry princess).
When the "discussion" on what to listen to while driving becomes too intense, and the radio is about to be shut off for good, all I have to do is pop in Pete Berwick.
And we go in peace. We don't agree on most music, but we are both die hard Pete Berwick fans, and given how different our musical tastes are that is saying something.
Jack Simpson, Risky Businness Radio Show
Call it cowpunk, Alt-country, Americana and rock and roll from the streets of Chicago: Pete Berwick has been around for years doing it his own way and the route it follows - as obstinate and convinced of the correctness of his decision - it seems with each new album he reaches new heights. Last year, his devil-does-all attitude delivered 'Just Another Day In Hell', a high energy colection of songs of the first order. And this year he does it again with ' Give It Time', his fourth and best album for me so far.
The album opens with the furious "Renegade", reminiscent of the uncompromising rock of the fabulous Ramones, and Berwick immediately lets the listener know where he stands and what he's about: "Black sheep of the family / Ain't no no woman lovin 'me / Not the kind that you-can hold / No place to call my own / Two wheels and a tank of gass / Takin 'names and kickin' ass / Livin 'hard and dyin' and fast / Each Day Could Be My Last. " Followed by the equally hard-hitting kick in the balls" I Keep Waiting" and the steamy " Is That What You're Tellin 'Me" clarify that Berwick's pretty pissed-off.
Not until the seventh song, the Steve Earle-esqe "Can I Smile Today", does Berwick take his foot off the accelerator. And vocal similarities to Barry McGuire and PJ Proby begin to appear. Bruised aqnd battered by a few too many glasses of whiskey while singing in a few too many roadhouse bars and nightclubs, These similarities are even more striking in" The Sadness In Your Eyes", perhaps the best song Berwick has recorded so far. Never before has he sounded so soulful, and from a soul that has lived. Beautiful guitar playing from the country outlaw himself as co-producer Jason Botka excels on organ. That the chorus sounds like The Velvet Underground at its best is a nice bonus.
The album ends with the beautiful and evil epic "When," with a wall of relentless guitars linked to dancing violins in a song that paints painful illustrations: "When will there be salvation / When will the trumpets sound / When will we be released / From the cage That Keeps us bound."
For those with still still any doubts: Give It Time by the acclaimed Pete Berwick is a stunning and at times hard bang of a rollercoaster ride.
Martin Overhuel, Alt Country Forum
Peter Berwick has been trying to live the dream for close on 30 years and the dream has taken him up and down the highway between Nashville and Chicago and every Redneck and dive bar on route - even with a stop-off on ABC's Wife Swap where he donned a yellow chicken suite but that's another story. "Give It Time" sees Pete liquored up on cheap domestic beer and Kentucky whiskey and back in the rusty pick-up but this time he's driving hard towards the punk clubs of Chicago where on his previous two releases (Ain't No Train Outta Nashville & Just Another Day in Hell) he was cruising into Nashville. Without sounding cliched and repeating his press release he does fall between Strummer and Earle - Cowpunk at its best for those who wish Joe Strummer had more of a southern twang to his sound and Steve Earle turned it up to way past 12 - highly recommended espically is you hate canned Nashville. Top ten albums of 2010.
John Murphey, Shite N' Onions
The torch of cowpunk remains intensely burning in the hands of Pete Berwick. Give It Time (Shotgun Records) is full again with Alt-country of the toughest kind. Berwick in the thirty years since he debuted has wasted some time, with a stay in prison and other wayward mishaps, but with tons of energy, he is working hard to recover his name for himself fronting his original brand of cowpunk. Berwick of course, remaining the true renegade that
he has always been, on the opening and blistering track "Renegade" He shouts about Jesse James and a hurricane while Ragged guitars and the rhythm section thunders by. Truly music to drink cheap whiskey by. And even a non-smoker will feel like a cigarette or two. Hell yeah! Berwick's music is an example of what thunderous and
kick ass rock should sound like! The fourth song "Won't Give it Up" sums up what Berwick is all about.
Pete Berwick is a true hardcore troubadour.
Self-proclaimed renegade Pete Berwick
returns with his fourth album, and doesn't
stray far from his chosen path. Utililizing
tortured sandpaper vocals over loud thrashing
guitars, Berwick offers intelligent rants about
life's hard times, using rootsy Americana
instrumentation played with punk intensity
to get his angry message across. "My Heart
Is On Hold" is as close to a tender love song
as Berwick can get; his humerous paen to
beer, called-what else?-"Beer," namechecks
all your favorite brews and tells why we love
them; all-encompassing protest song "When"
asks the questions that have no answers, recalling
Mason Proffit's "Two Hangmen" in the process.
All in all, Give It Time invokes the cowpunk inten-
sity of Jason & The Scorchers while making us
think, and that's a good thing.
Guy Arnston, Illinois Entertainer Magazine
LISTEN TO "VACANCY IN MY HEART"
Album Reviews Of "Just Another Day In Hell"
I hate to admit it, but before Pete Berwick contacted me and asked me if I could review his latest album, Just Another Day In Hell, I had never heard the name. But luckily my embarrassment can be drowned out by that somewhat ecstatic feeling you get when you discover a new artist whose music really gets your heart pumping, and you realize that they’ve been around long enough to have a whole music career to go back and discover.
In one word, Just Another Day in Hell is great. You might take by the title and the tracks (such as “While I Die” and “I Fought with Angles”) that this might be yet another album full of cliches about “Fighting with the Devil” and such, and yes, that element is there, but this album is so much more. Pete Berwick cannot be pigeon holed, not in musical style, or in his songwriting.
Pete Berwick Just Another Day in HellThis album takes you on a range of emotions and settings as diverse as the seasons. It starts off by kicking your teeth in with the screaming slide blues and growling lyrics of the country rocker “Vacancy in my Heart.” But Pete isn’t afraid to cry and croon as well. Like he says in “Too Soon to Quit,” “I’m gonna wear my heart right on my sleeve. I’m gonna kick down every door that’s in front of me.”
What Pete Berwick does in this album is expose himself completely and truthfully through his songs. He cries his heart out, he openly admits his faults and frailties. His machismo rants are chased with battered reflections and broken dreams. He sings what he lives, and lives what he sings. He lays it all out there, be damned what anybody thinks. This isn’t vicarious grandstanding badassedry done to formulaic country themes, this is real life, and by unabashedly spilling his guts out, Pete Berwick makes one of the most true and soulful collections of songs you will find out there.
At times Berwick crosses that line from songwriting to sheer poetry. In one of my favorite songs “While I Die,” he does an amazing job tying together a child afraid of the dark and wanting to leave a light on, with the darkness inside a full grown man riddled with indecision, demons, and the burden of a broken heart. The songwriting is pure genius, and an excellent example of Berwick’s songwriting prowess:
Pete can use his way with words to make you laugh as well, like in “Hello Hand,” which is about, well, a hand, and um, something one might do with a hand during lady troubles. But again, this song like most of them is based in biting truth, and with the soul and grit of Berwick’s voice you take this song as much more than just mirth making, but a harsh reality of a man’s life that shoots empathy into the listener’s heart, and memories into their head.
Musically Pete Berwick and his band also deserve praise. They may not start a music revolution, but the guitar work is superb, the arrangements are tight and smart, and the music shows surprising range that for the most part fits the mood that the lyrics create. It’s high energy, with a country heart. There’s a lot of punk attitude in there too, in style and approach. I was really glad that Berwick was not afraid to slow it down and make it sweet as well, and that he was not afraid to do this multiple times. Sometimes the arrangements were maybe even a little too sweet, but they never felt out of place for what direction the song was going.
One criticism I could give is that at 18 songs Just Another Day in Hell could be a little shorter. Some of the songs just didn’t work for me like “Roadkill Blues,” and by trimming a little of the fat, Pete could have had top-notch songs from cover to cover. Having said that, you can tell that Pete and his band pulled out all of the stops for this album and got it right and spared no expense. If the song called for tightly arranged background harmonies and keyboards, it got it.
This might be the first time I’ve written about Pete Berwick, but it won’t be the last. He has more music for me to explore, and possibly more importantly, a story to tell. Berwick is not a newcomer. Here he is on Sound Stage 18 years ago, giving you a good live example of his style:
if you consider yourself a fan of hard edged country with a punk rock twist that isn’t afraid to weep, then you need Pete Berwick in your rotation.
Other Pete Berwick Albums:
Ain’t No Train Outta Nashville
Pete Berwick is worthy to stand shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Dylan,
Springsteen and Mellencamp. A tall statement but the music tells a story of
a man who has poured his guts, his soul and his passion into his songs.
Rock Of Ages Radio Show (www.the-rock-of-ages-radio-show.com)
What we have is a collection of rough and tumble, low class American country tinged with punk. Kind of the musical equivalent of a bottle in the face at a red neck honky tonk joint (and the ocasional red neck comedy club - check out "Busted in Kentucky" and "Road Kill Blues" ) somewhere 0n the highway between Chicago and Nashville. A fine follow up to 2007's "Ain't No Train Outta Nashville". Standout track for me is "Vacancy in My Heart", mostly cos it rocks hardest. Recommended for fans of Johnny Cash, Steve Earl or Springsteen at his roughest
Shite n' onions (www.shitenonions.com)
It was yer typical music biz deal – down & dirty and without witnesses. I rendezvoused with Petey the Clown in the alley behind Chewy's Waffles-n-Fish, third garbage can from the passed-out drunk, as per our usual agreement. The deal was for ten-large, small bills with no consec numbers, for which I'd pen guaranteed award-winning liner notes that would bring his music the attention that it so sorely deserved.
I don't rightly remember where I first met Pete Berwick…might have been at the car wash, in the rows of one of Nashville's many pawn shops, or maybe during a barfight in some back-alley Music City dive. You know what they say about the '80s…if you can remember the decade, well….
What I do remember is that Berwick was the real deal, singing the truth to a mud-crusted, foggy-thinking Music Row establishment too deaf to hear the honesty in the guy's rough-hewn vocals, too rabbit-scared to face the reality portrayed by Pete's lyrics. Hell, they all but crucified Steve Earle back in the day – there's no way that they'd embrace Berwick's heresies. The country music biz might have preached "traditionalism" back in the day, but when faced with an artist too proud and talented to genuflect at the altar of Garth, they ran like Little Bo Peep and her sheep in the opposite direction.
Fast-forward to 2009 and Just Another Day In Hell. Nashville's star-making machinery routinely crushes the souls and dashes the hopes of country music hopefuls, but in Pete Berwick's case, they couldn't stomp out the man's dreams. Here he is with a new album, his best yet, bringing blood, sweat, and balls back to a country music genre sorely lacking in all three.
In Nashville, conventional wisdom says, it "all begins with a song." Problem is, too many Music Row tunesmiths are pets kept on a short leash by the artists they hope will record their songs. Berwick pens his own reality and, much like Hank, Waylon, Townes or Steve, his songs are inhabited by heartbreak, humor, insight, and emotion.
For instance, consider the Dylanesque remembrance that is "I Fought With Angels." Fraught with regret, the song's bone-chilling weariness is reinforced by searing guitar and a high lonesome harp. Berwick's protagonist has seemingly all but surrendered, waving the white flag of regret to the world. Gruff vocals slurring sad lyrics, Berwick's brilliant wordplay describes a lifetime of Quixotic tilting at windmills. As the guitar screams out its tortured, steely notes one realizes that this is a song of defiance, not defeat, and no matter how many ass-kicking's the song's protagonist endures, he's going to get up, time after time, to wade back into the fray.
The Western gunslinger flavor of "While I Die" is supported by tremolo-soaked fretwork, a martial rhythm, and Berwick's best Marty Robbins-styled vocals. The lyrics are brilliantly constructed, and the wiry, raga-flavored six-string riff in the background soaks the entire song in delightful pathos. Like much of John Prine's best material, "Cold Wind (Baby Come Home)" provides a perfect balance between the simplicity of song and the complexity of emotion. Berwick's vivid imagery is matched by a fine, heartbroken vocal turn and accompanied by Rick Devries' inspired slide-guitarwork.
The ribald "Hello Hand" is scatologically funny in its embrace of Onanism, Berwick's clever double-and-triple-entendre wordplay barely concealing the heartache and loneliness beneath the song's bravado. Some might find it offensive but, in truth, it's as honest a country song as has ever been written, and better than 99.999% of the dreck that has been spit up by Music Row's feeble scribes over the past couple decades. "Roadkill Blues" evokes a similarly-skewed sense of humor, Ma Nature versus modern industrial society in a song that is neither preachy nor strident, just poetically observational.
Revisiting the hilariously dark-hued comedy of "Standing At The Gates" from his 2002 album Only Bleeding, Berwick revs up the tune with a locomotive rockabilly fever, his vocals less punkish than the original, with more twang but with no less energy or attitude. The song is still a Dangerfieldian treatise on the loser's life, with a bleak tongue-in-cheek humor that only partially conceals the truth, appealing to the misanthrope in all of us with driving drumbeats and scorched-earth guitar.
The title track, "Just Another Day In Hell," is a wry jail song in the mold of Johnny Cash or Merle Haggard, crossing the swaggering twang-ridden riffs of James Burton with the cowpunk fervor of Jason & the Scorchers. Berwick deftly illustrates that there's more than one kind of prison cell, and that the bars that keep us in are sometimes those of our own making. "Busted In Kentucky" walks the hallowed classic country-rock ground between the Flying Burrito Brothers and David Allen Coe, a true-to-life story-song that exhibits Berwick's fine eye for detail and biting wit, his talking blues-styled vocals delivered above a shit-kicking beat.
That's just about half the songs from Just Another Day In Hell – the rest are every bit as good, each and every one delivered with a reckless country spirit that is equal parts juke-joint soul and honky-tonk energy. Berwick still rocks too hard for Nashville, but isn't that why God and Gram Parsons created alt-country music?
No, I don't remember where I met Pete Berwick, but I'm glad that I did. Pete and his music keep getting better with age, and Just Another Day In Hell sounds like a cold beer at the end of 500 miles of broken road…it's just that damn good!
Portions of this review were used to create the liner notes for Just Another Day In Hell…so sue me!
Rev. Keith A. Gordon
About.com Blues Guide and Creem Magazine (www.blues.about.com & www.thatdevilmusic.com )
The life story of country outlaw Pete Berwick reads a bit like a modern picturesque novel. Broken relationships, drug abuse, prison, a record contract gone bust, and one too many gigs on the road for a couple drunks and a dog. You name it, he's done it. And in between he even makes music. Cowpunk,americana, altcountry, stuff that's straight from the street.
And you can almost smell that steet credibility on ''Just Another Day In Hell'', the successor to the remarkable ''Ain't No Train Outta Nashville''from 2007.
In musical terms Pete Berwick falls between Johnny Cash and Steve Earle. His sound is raw, sensitive, rugged, unique, soft, loud, but always authentic and - above all - honest. Don't search for polished gold edges around the songs (or in the lyrics for that matter) because you will not find it. His songs are as razor-sharp glass shards all the more. For example, opener "Vacancy In My Heart" is an earthquake of 12 on the Richter scale. The track is immediately clear that Berwick and band can rock as a diesel rumble. This is a track that separates boys from men, that much is obvious. And the dividing line in the following seventeen numbers further extendes that fact.
The title song ''Just Another Day In Hell' is heavy Johnny Cash. ''I Ain't Going Back There Anymore'' leans toward Steve Earle. And "I Fought With Angels'' has a Willie Nile flavor. But every song breathes Berwick's character and gives the listener a glimpse of the underdog's life on the road. That Pete's voice sometimes leans very close to that of Barry McGuire ("Eve Of Destruction", remember?) Is an additional asset for me. If you like your altcountry in rough slices, you should be sure to listen to this CD!
Alternative Country Forum (www.altcountryforum.nl/)
For those who can hardly wait for the new Jason & the Scorcher's CD, there's some time to kill with "Just Another Day In Hell," The new album by Pete Berwick. This veteran left for Nashville in the early nineties after he had been performing in bars for fifteen years. By the time Berwick arrived in Nashville Steve Earle was in prison and The Scorchers had broken up. Pete Berwick also faced setbacks. His record company went bankrupt and in 1993 his album "Ain't No Train Outta Nashville" was shelved due to legal disputes, though Berwick finally released it on his own record label in 2007.
And now he's back with a brand new album that once again is full of altcountry of the hardest kind. He begins with "Vacancy In My Heart", a George Thorogood & the Destroyers rocker. Following is the cowpunk title track, a bow to Johnny Cash. "Hurt Someone Again" has some way of pubrock of Brinsley Schwarz. "Junk" has a soul choir and organ, but also good hard guitars. Eighteen tracks pass in over an hour and that is not too much. Berwick has a legitimate basis of song writing which draws inspiration from the jagged edges of life. Delightful album.
Alt Country Netherlands (www.altcountry.nl)
Pete is an indie-rocker, no doubt about it. When I first heard "Vacancy in my Heart" from his new album "Just Another Day In Hell" I told him that I could hear the Ramones doing this. Reason I like the guy...he was flattered by the comment. This is one that I love to kick start my show with as much as possible. It's one that you may not want to listen to while driving, unless you are prepared to pay for that speeding ticket. Rock through and through, it's one that many of OKOM folks should be covering. It's that good .
98.5 Mandatory FM, Texas (www.mandatoryfm.com)
Pete Berwick Just Another Day in Hell
"Just Another Day in Hell" takes you on a journey. Pete told me that he didn't really just sit down and write an album..the stories are all true (all 18 tracks) and he wrote about em as they unfolded or after..thus the title.. Yeah, a rough couple of years, but it makes one hell of an album. The man is a freaking musical genius. Go pick up your copy of Another Day in Hell, you won't regret it, that I promise you.
Risky Business Radio (www.blogtv.com/People/riskybusiness04)
Listening to Pete Berwick’s “Just Another Day In Hell” CD can easily be described as an emotional experience. The CD consists of 18 songs based on the real life experiences of a musician. It’s loaded with the wonderful Berwick sarcasm and humor that we all enjoy so much but songs like “While I Die” and “I Fought With Angels” will touch your heart. “Just Another Day In Hell” conveys not only the story but the full range of emotions as well.
Pete has often been compared to Steve Earle but since the release of his new CD he is also being compared to Johnny Cash and George Thorogood. He’s country, he’s rock and he truly is fantastic!
Unsigned Musicians Radio Show (www.blogtalkradio.com/unsigned)
If you think that rock and roll is dead, think again. Pete Berwick brings it crashing home time and time again. I have been a fan or Pete's since I heard his first screaming release and I have to say that whenever I grow cynical of the industry, I put a Berwick CD on and dance myself into a born again rock frenzy. What I most love about Pete's work is his sense of sick humor. He can sell road kill as easily as he sells heartache. His vox sounds like he was born gargling with whisky and rock pebbles. He plays his well worn ax like a well played woman. Pete Berwick is and never has been a flash-in-the pan musician. Those of us that have discovered him wish lovers of real rock could all discover him. Nobody would ever say again that rock is dead. "Ain't no Train Outta Nashville" is still my favorite but all of his CDs are terrific. As a musician and critic myself, I give Pete the highest rating I can. Maybe it's because I been there, done that and wear the T but he's the real deal.
Fly Williams (www.myspace.com/williamsandwilliams)
The first thing you hear is a classic slide riff - significantly, like a cross between Jimmy Page's intros for Zep's "In My Time of Dying" and "Nobody's Fault But Mine," but filthier - followed by an evil chuckle from the vocalist. "Ahhh, here we go," he leers, then, after a blurted "ONE-TWO-THREE-FOUR-ONE!" the band catapults headlong into a hi-nrg blowout. One part George Thorogood boogie, one part Ramones riffarama, several parts Jason & the Scorchers cowpunk raveup, "Vacancy In My Heart" wears its mojo on its sleeve, gravel-voiced belter Pete Berwick spitting out bon mots to the gal who left him high and dry ("Looks as if it's finished now before I could even start," he grunts, charting lingering feelings of psychic impotence), but the tune never once loses its mojo.
Nor does the Berwick band, not even across 18 songs and 61 minutes. Berwick's a battle-scarred veteran of Music City USA, an atavistic twang-rocker in the tradition of Steve Earle and the aforementioned Mr. Ringenberg, with clear roots in the extended outlaw tradition of Waylon and Willie. "Equal parts juke-joint soul and honky-tonk energy," writes liner notesman Rev. Keith A. Gordon (full disclosure: Gordon's a BLURT contributor) of Berwick. "[He] still rocks too hard for Nashville, but isn't that why God and Gram Parsons created alt-country music?"
Boy howdy to that. There's enough here to sink your teeth into to leave you stuffed and satisfied like a five-course meal. From steel guit/piano weepers ("Junk") and desperado desert rock ("While I Die") to lonesome harmonica blooze-twang ("I Ain't Goin' Back There Anymore") and Social Distortion-styled roots-punk ("Cold Wind (Baby Come Home)"), Berwick & Co. have all the bases covered, and then some. And let us not underestimate that Berwick voice, weathered ‘n' torn from tequila and cocaine, imbued with a deep southern twang that drips authenticity. Hell, he can even make a novelty song about onanism ("Hello Hand" - here, another gal has left him, although this time, rather than succumb to sorrow and rage, he reaches for his "prize collection of Playboy/ and half a bar of soap") sound like a professorial dissertation. And when he serves up a Commander Codyesque yarn about a memorable run-in with the law ("Busted In Kentucky"), you don't even worry whether Berwick is, er, embellishing his account - you're too busy hanging onto his words to see how the whole deal plays out.
Yeah, this is exactly why God ‘n' Gram put their heads together all those years ago. And folks like Berwick are exactly the ones who are still ramming the "alt" into "country." Methinks Hank would've done it this way.
Standout Tracks: "Sometimes," "While I Die," "Vacancy In My Heart"
Blurt Magazine (www.blurt-online.com)
If America prefers "Rough & Rowdy" lust, Pete Berwick is clearly in the right place. On his third CD the fifty-one year American veteran opts for a very strong no-nonsense approach. "Just Another Day In Hell" plays like a kind of compact biography of the man himself. Nothing fiction here, just life in all its sometimes ruthless brutality. This album can best be described as alternative country's response to American Author laureate Charles Bukowski. Documenting broken relationships, drug abuse, and stories from his dreams, Berwick reality itself is epic enough to not need to give chimera. And he does so in a musical habitat, which in turn recalls the famous Texas outlaw country scene of yesteryear with Waylon and Willie, to Steve Earle somewhere at the beginning of the nineties and cowpunk legends Jason & The Scorchers, which makes it all even more exciting.
Ctrl.Alt.Country, Belgium (www.ctrlaltcountry.be)
Pete Berwick delivers the good once again. As with "Ain't No Train Outta Nashville". Pete continue's his exploits with the new release "Just Another Day In Hell". His gritty voice and style of music takes us all back to the days of country outlaws such as Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash and yes, even David Allan Coe. His songs tell the stories of the blue collar, working class heros. If you don't like Pete Berwick...yall can kiss my ass!
Southern Thunder Radio (www.live365.com/stations/apstone)
If you are not convinced that Pete Berwick knows the ways of the county outlaw, the cover of his new album ''Just Another Day in Hell" should be enough to maintain the promises within: the handcuffed hands are those of a tough-skinned songwriter, who has seen it all, has turned his back on the music business (or it has turned on him, depending on your point of view), and has released his album on his own label just for a little revenge.
This album is a convincing statement of anti-Nashville sentiments and rebellious sincereity which remains on the edge of a Nashville of days gone by, when Waylon Jennings and Billy Joe Shaver sang of Honky Tonk Heros. The music of Berwick is a bit of that, but there is also a lot of rock n' roll, and also pays tributes to Johnny Cash ("Just Another Day In Hell," "Busted In Kentucky," and "Roadkill Blues". ) "Vacancy In My Heart" has the taste of sounthern rock.
The closest relatives of this roots rock would be Jason & The Scorchers: "One Last Shot," " Too Soon to Quit," and" Standing at the Gates" spin straight as a train and guitarist assassin Rick Devries will take a fair share of the credit, though Pete Berwick contributes to the end with his gritty ungainly voice and a long series of texts that do not use uncertain terms. " "Junk," "I Ain't Goin' Back There Anymore," and "I Fought with Angels" are somewhere between Steve Earle and a rock 'n' roll romantic who once would have been placed among the disciples of Springsteen. The genuineness and the character of Pete Berwick is beyond dispute.
Roots Highway (www.rootshighway.it)
Hailing from Chicago, Pete Berwick has been around for three decades, scraping by and playing solo acoustic gigs and fronting various bands. Since 1978, Berwick's been sort of a roots rocker in the vein of Steve Earle, but (if you can believe it) a lot less polished. Just Another Day in Hell is the kind of record former Replacements frontman Paul Westerberg should be making--rough and drunken. Songs like "Pissing in the Wind" and "I Fought with Angels" should hit the spot with anyone between the ages of 35 and 50.
The Dallas Observer (www.dallasobserver.com)
Pete Berwick Just Another Day in Hell
Pete Berwick is "The Real Deal". Gritty, rough-edged soul, just the way I like .
Big G's Texas Roadshow (www.myspace.com/biggstexasroadshow)
What a piece of work this guy is! I love him. His life (as seen one time on a hilarious episode of "wife swap")is proof positive that this guy's calling is music; and honest music to boot. He'll do whatever it takes to survive and take care of his family but it'll be done by music. Whether it's playing the local bar, or putting on a costume for a house party, he'll get the job done. There aren't enough guys like this anymore. This, his 3rd release is excellent like his first two. He's a true blue roots rocker in the same arena as guys like Steve Earle, Chris Knight, and so on.
Bt Cat, Amazon.com (www.amazon.com)
After his 2002 album "Only Bleeding", and 2007's "Ain't No Train Outta Nashville", Pete Berwick has released his 3rd CD "Just Another Day In Hell". The first song "Vacancy In My Heart" is quite intense, and immediately I wondered how I would categorise this album ... hard rock with screaming electric guitars and a raw whiskey voice?
Fortunately the rest of the album sounded a lot better to the ears, and after a couple times that first number I heard had me understanding the pain that Berwick shouts
out .. pissed off, he sings "Hey baby, why you want to leave me this way? ... and I'm goin' down for the last time in the deep blue ocean of love .... Hey baby, now why you want to tear us apart and leave me standing here all alone with a vacancy in my heart! " As Pete says: "Call it roots rock, call it Americana, call it alternative country or call it cowpunk. In the end, it's "Just Another Day In Hell". He is definitely not the smooth Nashville sound, but more the sound of a hard working road warrior, and along for the ride his former band members ...guitarist Rick Devries, bassist Nick Verbic, and drummer Rob Sury.
A smooth Nashville sound this certainly is not! This is a heavy rock americana... you do think of Steve Earle in his 90s period, and the slightly stronger numbers of Johnny Cash, delivered with a great a raw voice .. Here and there are beautiful harmonica playing complimenting an authentic outlaw sound! "Junk", "I Ain't Goin 'Back There Anymore" and "I Fought With Angels" are some quieter songs, Which Pete does all that he can with his raw voice which is not necessarily suited for ballads. Still these are my favorite tunes because of the beautiful lyrics. "Roadkill Blues" and "Pissin 'In The Wind" are great country rock numbers where you can not sit still.
A great CD in the car, these are the stories of a man who's life has caught up with him. (sad, funny, angry, misunderstood and humorous) ... believe me, this man has not always had it easy. A beautiful album, especially for your money, because there are no fewer than 18 songs, and every one of them stands on it's own! Over an hour of outlaw country roots rock!
live4fun, Rootsville.be (www.rootsville.be)
Nashville is full of ups and down and Pete Berwick was met with all of them upon arriving in town from Illinois in the early 90’s. Signed with an independent label things were looking up as Music City began to buzz about his alt. country, punk infused, take no prisoners sound. Things quickly changed when the label shelved his album over contract disputes forcing him to become tired of the politics and after first living on a 40 acre lot east of Nashville he returned to Illinois. 2007 saw him legally separate himself from the past, and he was able to release that shelved album to critical acclaim. He has now returned with his new album Just Another Day In Hell. Through the albums 18 tracks Berwick displays the edge that had a whole town talking years ago. The southern rock tinged guitar riff of album opener “Vacancy In My Heart” drags you into the album and with a rousing count off ala the Ramones you are thrust into a song that combines the raw energy of punk rock with a biker bar atmosphere full of southern rock inspired tunes. This is a style that Berwick does and he does it well never staying too far from it as he shows throughout the album with cuts like “One Last Shot,” and “Standing At The Gates.” When this album isn’t assaulting you with blistering guitars it leans heavy on a Johnny Cash like bluesy country influence as he shows on cuts like “Busted In Kentucky” and “Sometimes.” Pete Berwick has already ventured to Nashville and he found out that it wasn’t for him, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t worth looking at. With this album, as he's always done in the past, Berwick combines raw edginess energy, a wide range of influences, and a passion of the roadhouse styled country he plays making this a very fun, left of the mainstream dial listen.
Today's Country Magazine ( www.todayscountrymag.com )
Oily and greasy rock would be a correct description for the music that American alt-country rocker Pete Berwick from McHenry, Illinois produces on his new CD "Just Another Day In Hell". He is straight to the door at home in the muddy fat swinging "Vacancy In My Heart", straight-to-right-on with a rock'n'roll voice that's not so close to 'beautiful' singing, but rather after a large pint or five would convey his message to those who want to hear (or who may not).
As if the first song isn't engaging enough, we have 17 more songs before we get to the end of this third album of Pete Berwick . I think the Belgian Seatsniffers could do well by adding a few of these songs to their set list. Such as "One Last Shot" or the swinging "Standing At The Gates", both with a Walter Broes guitar interlude, or the title track "Just Another Day In Hell" that wouldn't have hurt being in the repertoire of the young Johnny Cash. Mr. Cash also is reïncarneerted through Berwick later in the song "Busted in Kentucky."
Pete Berwick manages to rock in just about every song, integrating a touch of punk infused country. He did the same with his previous two albums "Only Bleeding" from 2001 and "Ain't No Train Outta Nashville" from 2007. (which was actually recorded in nashville in 1992 and sat on a shelf untill 2007 due to contract disputes and economic hardship with the record label.)
Even the ballads are sung in earnest rawness, such as "Hurt Someone Again." Pete Berwick here sounds a bit like Steve Earle and Bruce Springsteen, as he sings this and every other song as if his life depended on it.
The pedal steel country song "Junk" delivers a quiet moment and tells an emotionally charged story in a clever Dylanesque way. In "Cold Wind (Baby Come Home)" and with the album closer "I Fought with Angels" he does the same again, conveying himself as a loving poet within a rough shell.
Berwick lacks no 'street credibility' as the autobiographical topics for his songs consists of broken relationships, drug use, a promising record deal gone bust, and some time behind bars.
His authentic and raw sound is typical of almost all the songs on "Just Another Day In Hell" where not even a hint of softness is observed. Razor-sharp lyrics without velvet sleeve because there is apparently only one way for Pete Berwick and that is' straight ahead.
The song "I Ain't Goin 'Back There Anymore" is very close to the work of Steve Earle. His cynicism and humor emerge from two other songs on this album: "Hello Hand" and "Pissin 'In The Wind". And besides the country and rock nature of this album he apparently touches on country blues in the song "Roadkill Blues." Even a Nick Lowe comparison could merge with the poppy "Ain't That A Lot Like Love" or the catchy "Too Soon To Quit".
Eighteen songs that are good for one full hour of rock and swing, fun and a large portion of 'feel-good' music. Pete Berwick can do nothing wrong, that may now be clear. "Just Another Day In Hell" is a straight line 'must-have' album.
Valsam, Rootstime.be (www.rootstime.be) Belgium
With a defining sound like no other, Pete Berwick's new album release "Just Another Day In Hell" is a shining example of what the Roots Rock world expects from its performers. Well written songs, great vocal performances and a hard driving in your face sound flavored with a tad of country salt from all the musicians in the studio. This album is first rate and provides music proof that Roots/Americana rock is alive and well in the great state of Illinois.
Radio should pay attention to this new CD and increase their listening audience by spinning "Just Another Day In Hell" for hard and fast music fans around the globe.
Robert Bartosh, Roots Music Report (www.rootsmusicreport.com)
Grab a bud, slam it with quarvo and throw yourself into an hour of one crazy and unpredictable ride. Artist Pete Berwicks, Another Day In Hell is a classic thrill on the musical tilt a whirl that you won’t soon forget. Rough, raw, and full of piss in your face attitude, there’s no mistaking what this gritty -been there done that and keep doing it again artist wants you to know about his take on the world of life, love and lust. Even the graphics on the back of the CD depicting a quite dead piece of road kill, is so disturbing that myspace found it a questionable photo. And if that doesn’t get you roused up, maybe the front of the CD where Berwick is in handcuffs will. Either way, it’s the highway accident you can’t help rubbernecking.
It would be tempting to say this is yet another musician with a penchant for sharing how torturous his self imposed destructive life is, except for one thing… It is exceptionally well written and painfully solid material from a writer and singer who somehow got ignored in the shallow and hollow waters of the music industry.
And what a pity. With vocals that wail and deliver in deliberate angst and poisonous passion, Pete Berwick spits out his message with a wink and a nod to his own bad choices and the consequences attached to the outcome of living a life where music is the first and last true love in his life. How can you not help but fall for a guy that is so self -deprecating he wrote an entire song about the privilege and pleasure he gets from his most fulfilling relationship-his ummm….hand. Yup, that’s what I said. And I am just repeating what he says, in his sure to be a male crowd pleaser song-aptly called. Hello Hand. But keep listening. Songs like, Hurt Someone Again and the beautiful sadness of I’ve Fought With Angels help you understand that this vulnerable talent is simply a sensitive soul who’s been imprisoned by the frustration and anger that comes from having a gift you have to keep reminding everyone-including yourself-that you didn’t have a choice. It’s what was painted on your soul the day you were born.
If your taste runs to the true artist. If you’re a person who has lived the pain behind the cynical wall of a I’m f..ed up stance, than this is the perfect album for you. Like an anti-depressant laced with whisky, listening to this record is a reminder that there is good-no great music to be had, that has nothing to do with shaking your booty or being a pretty boy for your 15 minutes of fame. Pete may be living another day in hell, but those of us who like his music might just be noshing on a moment in heaven.
Nancy Montgomery (www.musicnewsnashville.com)
Just Another Day In Hell is full of the most uplifting, depressing music I have ever heard. Whether you're knocking one back in a smokey Honky Tonk or just wishing you were, Pete Berwick has delivered songs that will make you alternately cry in your beer and smile at your good fortune for not having to live the stories he sings about. Crank it up.
Brian Noonan- Host, WGN Radio, Chicago (www.wgnradio.com/shows/overnight/)
Berwick has earned his place among legends like Hank, Waylon, Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle and John Mellencamp, and "Just Another Day In Hell" could be the soundtrack of a roadside bar.
His voice sings of broken hearts, pain and redemption, and as in real life endings are not always happy.
Inzona Magazine (www.inzona.es)
Peter Berwick is the result of mixing country music with American punk and listening to Berwick is like listening to a cowboy commanding southern New York Dolls. Brazenness, arrogance and a robust music dirty "saloon" and the dusty roads of cities at night. Living out of the business, this man has been able to record a handful of memorable songs of life and death with simplicity and self-signed sinceretty.
With his weathered voice, this outlaw offers endearing songs as the beautiful 'Hurt someone again' (an instant classic) or 'Junk' (which reminds of Keith Richards), all thanks to the conviction that emanates from each one of his sentences, an authenticity that steals hearts. Any fan of Springsteen and Neil Young will find in this work a few memorable songs, which will certainly provide him with much satisfaction. Songs that you feel good with an engine roaring at night, headlights on and the loneliness of the road. Crunchy guitars that exude the same power, sensitivity, and old rock and roll spirit.
It is one of the records of the year, though nevertheless will remain transparent to the public. A remedy injustice by those who do not require a major marketing campaign to reach out to a tremendous job. Your purchase is secure success.
JUANJO ORDAS ( www.efeeme.com)
Singer/songwriter Pete Berwick from the Chicago area has lyrics and a vocal style you just can't ignore. His songs are stories straight from the gut and establish Berwick as one of the best songwriters in the biz.
Buster's Radio (www.bustersradio.com )
If you are the type that fancies yourself a true alternative music fan, then we got something for you. The latest album by Mid-west indie artist Pete Berwick is as cow punk as it gets. With rough and razor edge vocals, Berwick weaves a sound all his own from his life and misery. Incredibly well written and released on Shotgun Records, you have to hear this to believe it, and once you do hear it you wonder how this artist has been so over looked. It most recently charted at # 29 on Roots Music Re-port Regional Charts. It definitely ain`t mainstream. Milledgeville Rage recommends this artist for your music collection.
Stan Mcdonald, Milledgville Rage
Pete Berwick Just Another Day in Hell
Pete Berwick is the master of CowPunk and has a huge cult following. He almost took Nashville by storm back in the early Steve Earle days. He's had a long hard road but Pete gives the finger to the system on a daily basis. He lives what he writes and I believe his fans wouldn't have it any other way. This is one of the last remaining rebels of the genre. We feel he's ready for Grammy's, but in a way, that wouldn't suit Pete at all. His new cd 'Just Another Day In Hell' is a CowPunk classic, and if you're into countryfied rebellion, then this is a must.
J-Rock & Patty The Radio Girl, Rock Solid Pressure Radio Show
Snarly, battered and bruised rock that bleeds out of the speakers.
Berwick is a true denim ‘n' leather rebel son and outlaw rambler. With rockabilly power, leathery baritone vocals, and defiant lyrics, Berwick is equal parts Dylan, Elvis, and Johnny Cash, with just a pinch of Steve Earle for acerbic flavoring. There's some steel pedal and a few moments showing Berwick's softer side, but mostly it's soul-shaking. Highlights: "Roadkill Blues," "Standing At The Gates," "Busted In Kentucky," and the title track. Top Ten of regional albums 2009.
Tom Lounges, Northwest Indiana Times