Phil Berkowitz, a San Francisco Bay Area based blues harmonica player and vocalist, has brought his unique and energetic musical style to audiences for the better part of a decade. His most recent venture, "All Night Party," testifies to the talent and dedication of this exciting, young performer. Phil Berkowitz demonstrates creativity and a powerful drive to entertain audiences of all ages with his dynamic vocals and blues-soaked harmonica riffs. Backed by seasoned musicians in his nationally touring band, he rigorously seeks venues in which to share his passion for the blues with those who appreciate the roots of today's popular music.
Phil is a New Jersey native and the 4th child in a family of six. He relocated to California in early 1989 to complete his college degree. It was during this time at Sonoma State University that he began playing the harmonica and fell in love with all forms of blues and jazz influenced music. He decided to front a band of his own and embarked on his lifelong journey of mastering every facet of the diatonic and chromatic harmonica. He has performed with a variety of top blues and jazz musicians such as Danny Caron, Sean Carney, Steve Freund, Wendy DeWitt, Dave Workman, Brenda Boykin, Jon Lawton, R.J. Mischo, Tom Rigney, Gary Smith, David Barrett, Kid Anderson, Kenny Blue Ray, Little David Rose, Lisa Kindred, Johnny Nitro, Billy Branch, and the late Gary Primich just to name a few. In 2004, Phil payed tribute to the music of the legendary saxophonist/vocalist/bandleader, Louis Jordan, with a CD entitled "Louis' Blues" which is also available through this website.
ALL NIGHT PARTY-
Here it is, folks! My third official CD. It was a long time coming, but I'm very proud of the results. Unlike the last CD, "Louis' Blues", this CD contains eight original songs. I would have to say that this represents the most diverse range of styles of all my recordings to date. Three of these songs I co-wrote with the great Danny Caron. Danny also co-produced this recording and even lends some of his guitar playing ability to a couple of the songs.
There were some great musicians who contributed to this recording. My good friend, Sean Carney, plays on several of these songs. As a matter of fact, I traveled to Sean's hometown of Columbus, Ohio in 2007 to begin working on this recording with his band of Merry Man. The weather went from 80 degrees to snowing in the 30's while I was there. That's April in Ohio for ya!. One of the songs we recorded, "Straight Up", is featured here as the second track. Sean is a great person as well as a gifted performer who is quickly becoming a renowned figure in the blues world. Also featured on the CD is the inimitable Bill Stuve, veteran bassist who worked with the legendary Rod Piazza for over thirty years. I am very grateful to the talented core group of Bay Area musicians who played on most of the tracks: Tim Wagar, Bowen Brown, William Beatty, and Marvin Greene. There are also some great horn parts from Jeff "Irv" Irvin, Robert Dehlinger, and Doug Rowan. Doug actually played on my 2001 recording with The High Rollers. Also a special thanks to the engineer, David Bell, and the vocal abilities of Craig Knudsen.
The ideas for these songs came to me over a long period of time. Some of them more personal than others. I knew for a while that "All Night Party" would be the main theme as well as the opening track. And "The Party's Over" would appropriately be the closer. Ghost Child, Tonka T and Ginger T were inspired by my dearly departed mother, my dearly departed dog and my strong-willed "medicinal" wife (in that order). "Midnight Rooster" was something I wrote while in Mexico back in 2003. I guess you could say it's a commentary on the sustaining and unwavering life-force of the blues in a rapidly changing world. "Beach Bar Boogie" was inspired by my trip to St. John in 2007 where I got to play with and see great artists like Chubby Carrier, Mitch Woods, and Tab Benoit. The song is undeniably New Orleans, a style that best conveys my experience there. The cover songs here gave me an opportunity to pay tribute to some of my idols: Jimmy T-99 Nelson, Ray Charles, Billy Boy Arnold, Louis Jordan, and Earl King...five huge blues icons who have influenced and inspired my music in many ways over the years.
So there you have it. A musical story containing many characters and themes from my life. I am confident that you will enjoy it as much as I did in bringing it to you. And remember, when the "Party" is over, there will always be a new one waiting for you just around the corner!