Dave Berg looking forward to his upcoming ASCAP Music Café show
January 18, 2013
The ASCAP Music Cafés goal is to highlight the connection with music and film, and for the past 15 years it has built a presence at the Sundance Film Festival.
Artists who have performed at the café, which is located at the 751 Main St., include Rachael Yamagata, Lenka, The Civil Wars, Arcade Fire, K’Naan, St. Vincent and Johnny Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls,
This year, the café remains true to its notion of presenting independent artists along with a splash of established ones.
One of these artists is Dave Berg, who will perform at the café on Jan. 20, from 3:20 p.m. until 3:50, and on Jan. 21, from 2:40 p.m. until 3:10 p.m.
While many may not recognize the Nashville-based singer and songwriter’s name, they may know some of his songs that include "Somebody," which became a No. 1 country hit for Reba McEntire, and "Stupid Boy," a song that Keith Urban took to the Top 10.
Berg, who called The Park Record from his home in Tennessee, said is looking forward to his performances.
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"When I heard I was going to play at Sundance, other than elation, I didn’t feel much," Berg said with a wry tone. "No, seriously, it’s a great feeling to know that I would be around a creative environment and people, and to think that I hauled off and made a little independent record that led to this is pretty cool."
That record would be his new release "Not Quite So Alone," which is now available digitally on iTunes.
The CD is filled with songs that Berg wanted to give some life to.
"It’s good to be able to create songs that aren’t stuck in a single style or sound," he said. "I’m excited for this to be out."
Berg, who cited Jackson Browne, Tom Petty and Bob Dylan as his influences, got into songwriting in his preteens.
"It was one of those things that I was compelled to do when I was 12," he said. "I don’t know if it was because I was lazy and didn’t want to learn Led Zeppelin songs because they were too hard, or what. I just started making stuff up."
With the songwriting came performing.
"Any guy would lie if they said they first got into music not to meet girls," Berg said. "I played guitar in bands my whole life, but at some point I became drawn to the idea of just writing songs, because I have always been drawn to the idea of a good song."
To find his way into the business, Berg relocated from his native Portland, Ore., to Nashville.
"It was strange, because I was close to Los Angeles, but when I went down there, it just didn’t feel right," he said. "I never saw myself living in Nashville, but when I visited, I found such a sense of community and the love of songwriting.
"There were also a bunch of misfits whose parents told them that a profession in music was a pipe dream," Berg said. "And now, here we all are, forming this great community."
In addition to the hits he has written for country superstars, Berg has also been the recognized professionally for his lyrics.
He won the ASCAP Country Song of the Year award for Reba’s "If You’re Going Through Hell" and was named Songwriter of the Year award from the Nashville Songwriter’s Association.
"It doesn’t seem real," he said about the awards. "You just do what you do and somehow all the stars line up and the song ends up on somebody’s record or becomes the most downloaded song on iTunes for a couple of weeks. And it’s always mind boggling when you hear your song on the radio."
When he plays the Music Café next week, Berg will focus on his own songs.
"A lot of times you get into music after hearing that one record that draws you in," he said. "I’ve been staff writing for many years and sometimes you have to do things that help you remember why you got into it all in the first place. That’s what the ASCAP performances are."
Dave Berg will perform at the Sundance Film Festival’s ASCAP Music Café, 751 Main St., on Sunday, Jan. 20, from 3:20 p.m. until 3:50, and on Monday, Jan. 21, from 2:40 p.m. until 3:10 p.m. The concerts are free to Sundance Film Festival credential holders. For more information, visit http://www.sundance.org/festival