Marc Berger to play free concert at the Avon Public Library, Oct. 5 |

Marc Berger to play free concert at the Avon Public Library, Oct. 5

Daily staff report

AVON — Marc Berger's life has been about pursuing twin passions: creating and recording his American roots songs and exploring remote areas of the desert and mountain West. After signing his first publishing contract while in law school, he fronted rock bands and performed regularly in New York City clubs such as CBGB, Wetlands and The Knitting Factory.

All through this period, he'd find ways to get into the West, picking up details from fellow wilderness junkies about off-the-beaten-path locales and filing them away for future reference. On one of these trips, the cover of "The Big It," a book of short stories by A.B. Guthrie he found on a revolving paperback rack in a Navajo reservation trading post, intrigued him. It got him thinking about using his travels to create a set of songs in the cultural tradition of writers such as Guthrie and visual artists such as John Ford and Frederick Remington.

Inspired by Berger's lifelong love affair with the American West and produced by Marc and Mike Ricciardi, his album "Ride" now presents 10 cinematic recordings capturing the vastness and romance of the West while exploring its deep roots in the American psyche. From the haunting message and beat of "Twister" and the soul-shaking challenge of taming a wild horse in "Take it on the Chin" to the sexy, mind-blowing, middle-of-nowhere encounter of "Time Waits For No Man" and on through seven more scenic stops, "Ride" takes you on a dusty tour of the Great American Frontier.

Berger performed at Austin's South by Southwest Music Festival and The Kerrville and Falcon Ridge folk festivals and has opened shows for Bob Dylan and other national acts. His song "The Last One" was a staple of Richie Havens' concerts for years and has been quoted in the New York Times and featured on The CBS Evening News.

Berger tells an amusing yarn, but what makes his performances especially appropriate for a library setting are the cultural, topographical and often quite literary references he makes. He provides as sharp a portrait of the American West as any contemporary singer-songwriter, whether native to the region or not.

For more information about Berger, visit

If you go …

What: Marc Berger.

When: 6:15 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5.

Where: Avon Public Library, 200 Benchmark Road, Avon.

Cost: Free.

More information: Call 970-949-6797.