"Four stars - another bulletin from the New York street poet with a blues soul...the music is as tight as a hangman's knot." MOJO - #3 Blues Album of 2014
"The Chris Bergson Band sets a bold new standard for roots music..." Hittin' the Note
"From blazing rock to funk to soul to Delta blues and all that's in between." Elmore Magazine
"Authentic but not stifled by tradition...Bergson is the classic triple threat." Jambands.com
"If it's possible, guitar ace Chris Bergson just keeps getting better. He had some opportunities to play with and observe Hubert Sumlin before he passed two years ago, and his emulation of the legend’s minimalist style has never been more apparent than on his latest record...The CD also showcases Bergson’s vocal power, songwriting skills, and his ability to assemble a world-class band...If you don't know Bergson's music, you should." The Blues Music Magazine
"Over the past decade, Chris Bergson has become one of the most interesting blues-inspired songwriters. He describes the streetscapes and nightscapes of city life, painting small, memorable pictures, a kind of Edward Hopper of the blues. Bergson doesn't do predictable, but there's a visible thread of blues awareness running through the fabric of everything he writes, sings and plays: he is a concise and subtle guitarist and tough, grainy singer." The Blues Magazine (UK)
Chris Bergson was inducted into the New York Blues Hall of Fame in February 2015. With MOJO Magazine's #1 Blues Album of 2008, Fall Changes,#2 Blues Album of 2011, Imitate the Sun, and #3 Blues Album of 2014, Live at Jazz Standard, New York guitarist/singer Chris Bergson has established himself as "one of the most inventive songwriters in modern blues music" (All Music Guide), creating his own blend of blues, roots and soul. Chris Bergson has performed and/or shared the stage with Hubert Sumlin, Levon Helm, B.B. King, Norah Jones, John Hammond, Etta James, and Bettye LaVette, to name just a few.
2014 CD RELEASE: LIVE AT JAZZ STANDARD
LABEL: 2 SHIRTS / INNSBRUCK RECORDS MEDIA
Live at Jazz Standard, the latest CD release from the Chris Bergson Band, was recorded live over two nights at NYC's Jazz Standard with Bergson's usual four-piece band (organ/wurlitzer, bass and drums) "augmented with a horn section expert in the snap and crackle of bluesy soul." (The Blues Magazine UK) The fifteen song CD contains eight brand new original songs from New York guitarist/singer Chris Bergson "...one of the most inventive songwriters in modern blues music." (All Music Guide) as well as new arrangements of five older originals from the band's back catalog. According to iTunes Editors' Notes:
"A fair number of hot shot guitarists can lay down licks with presence and panache, but that number shrinks drastically when you tally the ones who are also sharp-shooting singer/songwriters. Thatís what makes Chris Bergson an unusual triple threat and this live recording shines a spotlight on the strength of his material as well as the alternately simmering and fiery feel that he and his band serve up in a club setting. New York City native Chris Bergson is a bluesman of a distinctly urban stripe. Instead of swamps and rivers, his songs - many penned in collaboration with lyricist Kate Ross - are full of citified imagery from the midtown Manhattan locale of "61st & 1st" to the Brooklyn scenes of "Gowanus Heights." The three-man horn section accentuates the soul leanings of tunes like "The Only One" and brings out the R&B shadings in Bergson's gritty growl. At times, the blend of Bergson's earthy vocals and terse, biting guitar with Craig Dreyer's organ evokes The Band. Yet whether the guitarist and his group are venturing into R&B, roots rock or straight blues, they create an invitingly organic feel on a recording that clearly captures the band in their element."
Special guests include soul singer Ellis Hooks and a three piece horn section featuring baritone saxophonist Ian Hendrickson-Smith (Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings), tenor saxophonist David Luther (Bettye LaVette) and Grammy Award-winning trumpeter Freddie Hendrix performing horn arrangements by Jay Collins (Gregg Allman).
Jazz Standard has been a musical home for the Chris Bergson Band for the past ten years and provided an ideal venue for their first live record. The album was recorded and co-produced by award-winning producer/engineer Roman Klun whose credits include albums by the Spin Doctors, Joan Osborne and the Holmes Brothers.
Bergson has had the opportunity to play with two masters of American music - drummer/singer Levon Helm of The Band and Howlin' Wolf's guitarist Hubert Sumlin - and their influence can be heard throughout the album.
Notable past performances include:
Harvest Time Blues (Ireland), Moulin Blues (Holland), GeVarenwinkel Festival (Belgium), Festival Blues en Loire (France), Rhino Jazz Festival (France), Salaise Blues Festival (France), Bain de Blues Festival (France), Blues Postojna (Slovenia), Groningen Rhythm and Blues Night (Holland), Blues Station (Tournon d'Agenais, France), Eden District Blues (Oraison, France), Blues in Hell (Norway), Leicester Blues Festival (UK), Waterfront Blues Festival (Portland, OR), Saratoga Jazz Festival (NY), Levon Helm's Midnight Rambles (Woodstock, NY), River to River Festival (NYC), Joe’s Pub (NYC), The Blue Note (NYC), Jazz Standard (NYC), John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (DC), SXSW, and opening for B.B. King at B.B. King's Blues Club (NYC).
Born in New York City but raised in Somerville, Massachusetts, Chris Bergson returned to Manhattan in 1995. While backing jazz singers Annie Ross, Dena DeRose, Sasha Dobson and Norah Jones, he released Blues for Some Friends of Mine and Wait for Spring on Juniper Records in 1997 and 2000, respectively. In 2002 Bergson was appointed a Jazz Ambassador of the USA by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and he toured Africa with his trio. Evolving to further embrace the blues while also adding pop influences, he followed up with Blues (2003), Another Day (2005) and his triumphant artistic breakthrough, the widely acclaimed Fall Changes (2007) -- MOJO’s #1 Blues Album of 2008 -- that established him as an eloquent, evocative and lyrical songwriter with a sharp urban vision. Recorded at Levon Helm’s Woodstock studio, it led to Bergson being personally invited to perform at the famed drummer’s Midnight Rambles while opening the way for more stateside festivals and subsequent
tours of Europe. The Chris Bergson Band's next studio album Imitate the Sun (2011) was named MOJO’s #2 Blues Album of 2011 and their latest CD Live at Jazz Standard (2014) was named MOJO’s #3 Blues Album of 2014.
Click here to read Kay Cordtz's in-depth profile of Chris Bergson in ROLL Magazine:
Chris Bergson currently serves on the faculty of NYC's 92Y where he teaches Rock, Blues and Jazz guitar and is the music mentor for the Recanati-Kaplan Scholarship Program.
Bergson endorses McCurdy Guitars and Levy's Leathers Gig Bags.
"Gut-busting, horn-bedecked NY blues... A powerful spirit with flavours of Ray Charles and Tom Waits... These guys could strip down the engine of a soulbluesmobile and put it back together blindfold."
"Chris Bergson plays the kind of guitar you can build a house on - it's B.B. meets Steve Cropper meets John Scofield."
"Upon first hearing guitar man Chris Bergson and his gravely southern drawl, which is a combination of Levon Helm and Gregg Allman, you can hardly believe this guy is from New York City. Imitate the Sun displays an artist dedicated to bringing blues and classic R&B into the future while honoring the past."
"Chris Bergson is a modern-day blues baron."
"This fine writer, singer and guitarist is pretty hard to 'pigeon hole', with his superb music covering blues, jazz, soul and classic rock flavours - the latter maybe from playing with a legend like the late Levon Helm of The Band. Exemplary guitar and vocals... highly recommended..."
Blues in the Northwest (UK)
"...drawing intuitively and seamlessly from blues, country, folk, funk, soul and jazz, Bergson has the kind of voice that can be sepia-tinted, whiskey soaked or nicotine stained to fit the requisite style and mood, standing alongside Gregg Allman, Dr. John, Van Morrison and Danko/Helm."
Leicester Bangs (UK)
"...satisfying blue-eyed soul, sad bastard storytelling, and tasty ensemble textures - where Bergson's voice, then guitar, prove to be both wise leaders, and worthy centers of attention…Bergson's lower-pitched tenor tends to emphasize taste and ornament over range, and his semi-hollow Gibson tones put him between the late Little Milton and Warren Haynes's current sound du jour..."
"Seriously street-smart songwriting and Allman-esque vocal prowess..."
"Smoky flavors wafting from New York City up to the Catskill Mountains infiltrate the unfussy music of the Chris Bergson Band. Bergson's a spry, supple guitarist with an earthy singing voice and a blues-grounded heart...Keep a sharp eye on this guy."
Hittin’ the Note
"Outstanding. Deeply soulful vocals and dynamic fretwork."
Blues In Britain
"Bergson's stirring voice and glorious guitar command immediate attention."
"If you like the music of Coltrane, Muddy Waters and The Band, you will definitely like the Chris Bergson Band."