You know what’s the perfect song to start this summer?
It’s a cover of Badfinger’s “Baby Blue” by Chris Berardo, a much-praised musician who’s opened for the Doobie Brothers, the Marshall Tucker Band, NRBQ, Dickey Betts (the Allman Brothers), and America.
We’re looking forward to hearing more from Chris this year.
In the meantime, we get to learn more about him and some of his favorite things, including Arthur, touring and his preferred organized crime outfit.
FAVORITE MOVIE, AND WHY
Part of me wants to say Goodfellas, which would be the slam dunk first choice in the van over the years, but when I really consider it, even though I’d like to say something cool like The Seventh Seal or Citizen Kane, I think the truth would be Arthur. I’ve seen it more times than I could ever count, I’ve always owned a copy of it in one format or another, and when I come across it somewhere on TV I am digging in, and all other plans generally get put on hold.
It’s full of some of the hardest laughs ever and they never get old, but what I’ve noticed over the years is how it feels sweeter and more poignant with every viewing. It had me at the laughs, but the years have added a perspective to it for me that make it more heartbreakingly human as time goes on … I’m gonna go put it on right now!
FAVORITE BOOK, AND WHY
I read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas at too young an age … it sent me careening off on a path of wild behavior and half mad adventure that persists to this day. Hunter Thompson was a fearless genre breaker and a frightening whirlwind of a human, but he also understood the dark corners of American society with a depth that few writers have ever possessed, mostly by heaving himself into The Story in a way that made traditional journalists look like frightened punks.
I eventually read everything he wrote, many times over. He was surprisingly one of the most prescient political voices of his time, but what sung to me were the periodic moments of soaring, musical beauty of language that could make your heart pound like a twisted Hemingway or Kerouac with a dark grudge. But Fear and Loathing was the wild ride that opened the door.
A PLACE TO VISIT, AND WHY
I want to go back on the road. I want to visit the faces of the folks who I sing my songs to. I miss every face – the ones I know and the ones I haven’t met yet. It’s been a tough year on everyone and that’s the trip that would make me feel better the quickest . When I walk by the van and the trailer they give me “the look” … they think I don’t see but I do … and I think I maybe heard one of my suitcases crying a little the other day. I hope we can all really get it together down the home stretch so that we can all saddle up and GO!
FAVORITE OUTFIT, AND WHY
Well, I think I’d probably have to say the Chicago Outfit … Sam Giancana and that crowd around ‘57 – ‘66 I’d say … they were pretty impressive and really ran the show in Vegas and then Cuba back then.
I grew up around New York City, so of course all us kids had our favorites. Naturally we all liked the NY guys like the Bannanos and the Columbos, but I guess I always just had an appreciation for the old school rackets in the Midwest. They had a unique style.
“Don’t call what you’re wearing an outfit” — Jason Isbell
[Ed. note – “Guess I got what I deserve” — Badfinger]
“Baby Blue” Album Cover Courtesy of Chris Berardo