Nashville Blues Society Blog

May 16, 2011 | By Sheryl and Don Crow

Chris Bergson was born in NYC and raised in Somerville, MA, and was bitten by the guitar bug early in his youth. He's shared the stage with the likes of Hubert Sumlin and Levon Helm, and on his latest release for 2 Shirts Records, "Imitate The Sun," he combines six originals with four covers to showcase his serious creativity and individuality.

The life of a bluesman is channeled in the opening "Goin' Home," written with the characteristics of Levon Helm's classic works with The Band. "Hello, Bertha" has a horn-driven, Stax-ish vibe that tells the tale of a "woman of easy virtue" who "keeps a smile on her face while listenin' to a weeks' worth of lies," augmented by a killer guitar solo at the bridge. "Down In The Bottom" has a sweet horn arrangement that replicates the unmistakable guitar riff of this song. Chris' slide is in overdrive throughout, and Bruce Katz adds tasty acoustic piano. "Dust My Broom" is given a similar treatment, with it's rockin' beat accentuated by Chris on electric guitar here, and Mr. Katz adding good ole barrelhouse piano. "Shattered Avenue" is a solo acoustic number that lets Chris' immense slide chops show thru, bemoaning a love affair that has become "the same ol' mountain, just a steeper climb."

We had two favorites, too. The unsure nature of the ending of a relationship is compared to "taking out the Christmas tree and Laying It Down In White on a snowy New Year's Day." This one features Chris' subtle fingerpicking technique and adds to the somber tone of this cut. At the polar opposite is another slab of Memphis-style funk entitled "Mr. Jackson." The horns drive this one, and Chris' hot solo and rapid-fire lyrics paint a vivid and intriguing picture of this jivin-and-connivin street hustler.

Chris Bergson has all the tools to succeed in the blues world--incredible chops, a great vocal delivery, and savvy, topical songwriting ideas that fuse the sounds of the Delta with today's contemporary settings. "Imitate The Sun" is definitely one all blues fans will enjoy!!