A veteran of both the Nashville and Chicago music scenes, Pete Berwick's album "Only Bleeding" showcases all of his various influences and incarnations, the songs mixing rock, country, americana and blues in the creation of a heady musical elixir. Think Steve Earle and Johnny Cash trading shots with Bruce Springsteen and The Ramones!
REVIEWS FOR ONLY BLEEDING:
"Like Steve Earle on crack."--garageband.com
"He has smoke in his hair and sand in his boots. Whatever you're slamming shots over, Pete Berwick has a song about it.--Indiemusic.com
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"Fans of Bruce Springsteen, Steve Earle, Jason & the Scorchers and the Georgia Satellites are going to love the hell out of Peter Berwick's latest release "Only Bleeding." -- Tom Lounges, MIDWEST BEAT MAGAZINE
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"I think this was the soundtrack to a barfight the other night. Cool roadhouse rock. You can feel the bottles breaking and cigarettes burning behind these songs. Cool acoustic storytelling, but rebuilt for the bar with some electrified twang and gravel-throated delivery. Rating: 10 -- Black Bart, cdstreet.com
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"Here’s a guy who’s been writing, performing, and recording for 24 years, and you can hear the battle scars. This is authentic Americana rock with occasional forays into punk. Imagine Bruce Springsteen performing songs by the Ramones." -- Jennifer Layton, Indie-Music.com
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"ONLY BLEEDING" is the reason many of us started listening to Rock N Roll in the first place."--The Reverand Keith A. Gordon. Mondogordo.com
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"Berwick scores with well crafted songs and performances."--Illinois Entertainer Magazine
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"For those who like their whiskey strong and their bars smoky."--Canada Monthly Journal
Read more reviews for ONLY BLEEDING:
Pete Berwick can be moody with a bitter, whiskey-flavored vocal delivery. Perfect examples are “Chained” and “White Lines,” a contemplative acoustic tune about hard living. Sometimes Berwick gets revved up enough to blow the roof off a bar. He could stand toe to toe with George Thorogood in the pissed-off “Outsider.” He croons the acoustic blues in the title track. He’s got desert sands in his boots and cigarette smoke in his hair.
He’s also got a sense of humor. “Nuclear Boy” is my favorite track. This is a punk/rock song about living by a nuclear power plant. He doesn’t want to move because the land is cheap, and besides, there are other advantages. He doesn’t need a light, since he glows in the dark. When the electric company cuts off his friends’ power, they can just go plug into him. I love this song.
This is the perfect roadside bar CD. Whatever you’re slamming shots over, Berwick’s got a song about it here somewhere. Although if “Nuclear Boy” is the song you relate to, I’d rather you sat on the other end of the bar, please.--Jennifer Layton
Nobody wanted to review this disc. After all, any frontman-guitarists over 23 years of age is NOT worth listening to, eh? Or so our Corporate Kleptocracy would have us believe. Find em and grind em: How many one-hit wonders do the suits have to sell us before we realize that while cute young people are mandatory in soft drink and beer commercials, their presence is not mandatory in music that has soul and spirit? Old = Tired? Hardly. Pete Berwick has slapped us up with a disc of Old School Cool Kicked Up With Fresh Spunky Vitality! This veteran sounds like he's still pissed off enough to claw his way to his that late post-set-bought-by-a-converted-audience member-whiskey-shot and throw it back with a smile on his scraggly face. The guitar tones are in-your-face and organic, but the licks are anything but overindulgent. The vocals are passionate and masculine, with the patina of real-life aches and pains brought on by years of wisened experience. This is the stuff that speaks to any grizzled diehard with a couple a turns around the block, who has little patience with X-tab club kids--they don't know how fleeting youthful innocence inevitably becomes. Time for some schoolin', kiddos: Pete Berwick is onstage!-- (Dylan Ritlin)recordrama.com
Rating: *** Submitted: 29/04/2002
Reviewer: Tony Engelhart
At first listen it is unclear how to categorize Pete Berwick. After a couple of times you become accustom to and even welcome the inconsistencies of this diverse disc. The all-embracing Berwick has been compared to Johnny Cash meets the Ramones. Perhaps a better description, at least for this recording, would be: The New York Dolls meet the Ramones meets Waylon Jennings meets Woody Guthrie. Convergence of rock, country, punk, and folk, Only Bleeding is an assortment of extremely deep-rooted American music.
For the past twenty-four years Pete Berwick has been writing and performing music on his terms. Beginning in the seventies, he was founder and frontman of the power-pop punk act THE GENERICS. The band blazed through Chicago clubs with intense, sweat soaked sets until the early eighties. The Berwick/Generics original composition 'There She Goes Again' was suspiciously stolen by, and turned into a hit and timeless classic for alternative rockers, THE BOO RADLEYS. By the mid-eighties Berwick turned his attention to country punk and released two acclaimed independent records, Six Pack Town and Decisions. Pete continued in the nineties by moving to Nashville and working as a staff songwriter for Kingbird Publishing. His need to sing and perform landed him a recording contract at Bitter Creek Records where he recorded Rebels and Cadillacs. While the album was never released, the single, 'Aint' No Train Outta' Nashville' was featured in the 1993 River Phoenix film, The Thing Called Love.
Lyrically Only Bleeding suggests hard livin', honkytonks, and lost love. Pete Berwick's Jack Daniels soaked vocals are raw and rough-edged, as he sings songs from a discerning and familiar point of view. Only Bleeding begins with a bit of Punk. 'Must Think She Loves Me' immediately reveals Berwick's' affinity for simplistic three-chord rock. Joined by singer/wife Denise, 'Nuclear Boy' and 'Gotta Get Out Of Here' both have an X-like ambiance (tough and passionate). The metaphoric title track opens with a wailing harmonica and acoustic guitar that is reminiscent to Bruce Springsteen's classic "Backstreets". With departed love and isolation as a theme, this track is lyrically poignant and musically uncomplicated. Drawing from his cow-punk past, the artist constructs a straight-up country ballad 'Cold Steel Gun' while 'Standing At The Gates of Hell' has a Southern Rock attitude complete with steel guitar accompaniments.
The self-produced Only Bleeding is contrasting to nearly all music being released these days simply because it is impossible to categorize. Pete Berwick weaves his early punk influences with contemporary and traditional styles to create a musical mosaic, which is diverse, yet comprehensive and extremely individual.
PETE BERWICK BIOGRAPHY:
Nashville & Chicago renegade rocker and alt-country singer-songwriter PETE BERWICK has been performing and recording for over twenty five years.
1981-1983 Founder, frontman/singer for Chicago cult favorites THE GENERICS. Pete wrote many songs during this period, two of which received regular airplay on several college radio stations. THE GENERICS were received well when they performed on college campuses, and also played hundreds of club dates.
1983-1986 Guitarist for punk/metal band THE END, who often opened up for prominent bands such as HUSKER-DU and BOHEMIA. Pete brought a commercial sensibility to the group when he joined. THE END released one album and toured the midwest twice.
1986-1988 Pete put his punk, country, folk, blues rock, and pop influences into a blender, and out came PETE BERWICK&INTERSTATE, a sizzling outfit that many described as cowpunk. The group performed heavily throughout the midwest, and during this time Pete released two self produced records, one of which was DECISIONS, a rocking and menacing collection of over ten years of songwriting. The record ranked as second of all indie releases in 1987 by Illinois Entertainer magazine.
1990-1996 Pete headed to Nashville Tennesse, where he wasted no time in securing a record deal and staff writer agreement with Bitter Creek Records. His comical song on the pitfalls of songwriting, "Aint No Train Outta Nashville" appeared in the River Phoenix movie "The Thing Called Love". Following his song into the world of film, Berwick appeared in both lead and featured roles in three movies filmed in Nashville, including an appearance with Hank Williams Jr. in a commercial for monday Night Football. Pete then signed with Advanced Talent Management, and put together the outlaw country rock group THE NASHVILLE UNDERGROUND. After proving themselves on the circuit, the group landed an opening slot for The Charlie Daniels Band. After the group split, Pete assembled Steve Earle drummer Craig Wright and Web Wilder bassist Tom Comet, and recorded the hard rocking ep "HELL TO PAY", which received rave reviews.
1996-2001 After over 15 years of non-stop performing, recording and writing, Pete relocated back to his hometown of Chicago and started an entertainment and publishing company and record label. In 2002 he recorded and released "Only Bleeding" on his label SHOTGUN RECORDS, which was recieved to rave reviews. Performing with Pete on 'Only Bleeding' are Brian Wilson bassist Bob Lizik, Blues legend Lonnie Brooks drummer Pat Doody, Jump N' The Saddle (Curly Shuffle) slide guitar player T.C Furlong, and Chicago guitar great Don Griffin. ONLY BLEEDING is a hard rocking and at times haunting collection of real life tales of hard living, addiction, self destructive renegades and salvation.
2002-2006 Berwick assembled the roadhouse rockin' PETE BERWICK & THE RENEGADES and put hundreds of live performances under his belt touring the midwest ceaseleslly promoting ONLY BLEEDING. The album was and remains a critics favorite, garnering a top ten of best indie releases in 2002 by renowned music critic REVEREND KEITH A GORDON. The album also recieved top ten indie release honors by TOM LOUNGES of The Northwest Indiana Herald and Midwest Beat Magazine. The title track currently maintains in the top ten on the Americana charts for over a year on garageband.com, and the first song on the album MUST THING SHE LOVES ME was featured in the movie TOWNIES.
2007 Pete Berwick's Nashville recording AIN'T NO TRAIN OUTTA NASHVILLE which was shelved in 1994 was released in 2007 on SHOTGUN RECORDS. This rollicking and sauntering rip roaring country rock collection of hard lived songs, which includes the title track which was featured in Paramount Picture's THE THING CALLED LOVE, is an americana snapshot of dusty roads, outlaws, small towns and late night honky tonks. In the meantime, Pete can be seen delivering his high octane roadhouse rock and country rock at clubs throughout the midwest with his band PETE BERWICK & THE RENEGADES, or as a solo act.