Chris Bergson Band
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Chris Bergson Band

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE | AFTRA

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE | AFTRA
Band Blues Soul


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This band has not uploaded any videos




Singer, songwriter, bandleader, and producer Chris Bergson stands out from the large pack of blues guitarists currently on the scene because of his long background as an accompanying jazz guitarist. Bergson's original songs tap into new themes and fresh veins in the blues mine, and his live shows are an artful mix of blues, Americana, jazz, and blues-rock. Given his long background as a sideman jazz guitarist, when Bergson decided he wanted to pursue blues music for a living, it stands to reason his sound would reflect that.

Bergson was born in Manhattan, raised in Somerville, MA, and returned to New York to live in 1995. In his early years in New York, he accompanied jazz singers like Annie Ross, Dena DeRose, Sasha Dobson, and even jazz-pop sensation Norah Jones. Since changing musical directions and making a conscious effort to recast himself as a triple-threat blues and Americana singer/songwriter and guitarist, Bergson has released a trio of excellent recordings for his own 2 Shirts Records label: Blues in 2003, Another Day in 2005, and the brilliant Fall Changes in 2007. His earlier releases include Blues for Some Friends of Mine in 1997 and Wait for Spring in 2000, both for Juniper Records.

Levon Helm, the legendary drummer for the Band, has taken Bergson and his bandmates under his wing (as Helm has also done with the Alexis P. Suter Band), offering them a place to record and making the Chris Bergson Band frequent opening act guests at his intimate Midnight Ramble shows at his studios in Woodstock, NY. Bergson's Fall Changes album was recorded entirely at Helm's upstate studio, and fittingly so, because Bergson has always counted Helm and the rest of the Band as among his biggest influences. Past clients at Helm's studio include the Band, Muddy Waters, Dr. John, Eric Clapton, and Keith Richards. During the recording of Fall Changes, Helm heard Bergson play and promptly invited him to sit in at one of the Midnight Ramble concerts, intimate affairs that can only accommodate perhaps 100 or so patrons. On Fall Changes, Bergson offers up his spry originals with a strong sense of place, i.e., Brooklyn, with tunes like "Gowanus Heights," but also performs innovative covers of familiar tunes like Bob Dylan's "When I Paint My Masterpiece," Ray Charles' "Drown in My Own Tears," and Jimi Hendrix's "Are You Experienced?"

The Chris Bergson Band has already stretched their musical wings beyond the boundaries of Brooklyn and Manhattan to encompass festival gigs at Cape May Jazz Festival, South by Southwest in Austin, TX, the Woodstock Blues Festival, the New York State Blues Festival, and Moulin Blues, as well as other festivals in the Netherlands and throughout Europe. In 2002, Bergson was appointed a Jazz Ambassador of the United States of America by the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts and the U.S. State Department. Bergson's trio toured eight countries in West Africa, giving concerts and talks on the blues for local musicians. Bergson and his band continue to tour and record and Bergson remains one of the most inventive songwriters in modern blues music.

~ Richard Skelly
- Richard Skelly

""Gowanus Heights" is #5 on The MOJO Playlist"

The MOJO Playlist - December 2007

"The best songs on the box, at the movies, on album and on-line right now..."



Gut-busting, horn-bedecked NY blues outfit. If they sound a bit like early Blood, Sweat and Tears, so what? Time was when BS&T set the pace. - MOJO Magazine

"MOJO - Blues Album of the Month"

MOJO - October 2008
Chris Bergson Band - Fall Changes (2 Shirts)
* * * *
A Brooklyn five piece you probably never heard of - but you have now, and will again.

One of the major themes in blues is a sense of place, and this band lay down their local credentials in the opening track about a Brooklyn neighborhood, Gowanus Heights. The catchy melody, stabbing horns and fervent vocal also establish that these guys could strip down the engine of a soulbluesmobile and put it back together blindfold. Ok so far, but there are several bands that fit that description. The Chris Bergson Band's USPs [unique selling points] are their leader's craggy singing, a powerful spirit with flavours of Ray Charles and Tom Waits, and clever, uncliched songs devised by him and his writing partner, Kate Ross, such as the title number, Gowanus Heights, Latitude and Rain Beatin' Down, the last with Blind Willie Johnsonesque slide guitar.

- Tony Russell

"BARRELHOUSE BLUES - Chris Bergson Interview"

Chris Bergson Interview - September 2009
By “Downtown" Bob Stannard, correspondent to

If you have never heard of Chris Bergson, you’re gonna. There are only a few new players out there that have this man’s talent and they can all be seen in Bergson’s rear view mirror.

He is a great song writer. He’s a better singer. And his guitar work will do just what it’s supposed to do; knock you out. He puts his heart and soul into each lick. It should come as no surprise that he is being acclaimed by the best of the best. It has been an honor to share the stage with Chris and it’s a greater honor to be able to introduce him and his work to you.

DTB: From where do you hail, Chris?

CB: I was born in New York City. When I was three and a half, my family moved to the Boston area and I spent most of my childhood in Somerville, MA.

DTB: How long have you been performing and when did you decide this was the career for you?

CB: I started young. When I was thirteen, I was in a rock band that played gigs around Boston. It was in my senior year of high school, that I decided I wanted to make music my career.

DTB: Who were your earliest influences?

CB: The Beatles, Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Albert King, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Wes Montgomery, Jimi Hendrix, Ray Charles, the Allman Brothers...

DTB: If you weren’t a great guitarist and song writer, what do you think you’d be doing today?

CB: I think I might be a writer.

DTB: Who are you listening today?

CB: Freddie King, Otis Rush, Howlin' Wolf, Hubert Sumlin, Son House, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Skip James, Taj Mahal, The Band, Otis Redding, and John Scofiled. I listen to a lot of jazz and classic soul. I also really like Derek Trucks, Bettye Lavette, and James Hunter.

DTB: Are you a straight ahead Blues player or do you play other genres?

CB: I also play a lot of Jazz and some rock and soul. I’m drawn to music that has soul and groove.

DTB: Who have you been performing with lately?

CB: I've been performing a lot with my own band with Bruce Katz on organ / piano, Jay Collins on tenor saxophone and backing vocals, Matt Clohesy on bass and Tony Leone on drums.

DTB: How long have you been at this?

CB: My current band was formed in 2004, with a few changes in personnel since then.

DTB: You have an agent or are you doing your own bookings?

CB: I am lucky to have a great manager and we work with some different agents here in the States and we also have a European agent.

DTB: The music business is one of the toughest lines of work out there. What advice would have for younger players thinking about becoming a Blues players instead of, say, a doctor or lawyer?

CB: There has to be no choice about it - you have to really want to be a musician to the point where that's what you need to do to be truly happy. Otherwise, there are obviously many easier ways to make a living. It is such a blessing to play music and I feel lucky that I've been able to support myself doing it for the last ten years.

My other advice to young musicians is to be on time and to be someone that people want to work with!

DTB: This spring you did a tour in the Netherlands. How were you received? What stood out on that tour that would make it different than playing NYC or Boston?

CB: We had a fantastic time on this last tour and we're hoping to come back soon. The audiences were great and the shows went really well. It was so nice to play for people that really love the music! It was also great to hear some of the other artists at these festivals like Watermelon Slim and James Hunter. To answer the second part of your question, there just aren't as many big, multi-day blues festivals here in NYC, unfortunately.

DTB: Tell us about your latest album.

CB: We recorded FALL CHANGES up at Levon Helm's studio in Woodstock, NY. Levon's barn is an amazing room to record in and I think you can hear the warmth of all the wood on there! Most of the record was cut live. A few days after the sessions, I got a call from Levon to come up and sub in his band at his Midnight Ramble concerts. He's one of my favorite musicians of all time so this was kind of a dream come true! Just to be in that rhythm section and play some of those shuffles with him was pretty amazing. He's such a master. Speaking of Levon, my band is going to be opening for him at his Midnight Ramble in Woodstock on Saturday, September 5th.

DTB: You’re appearing at BB King’s in NYC. This your first appearance at this prestigious club?

CB: No, I've played there before. I had the honor of opening for Etta James there a few years back. I play pretty regularly at Lucille's, which is their more casual lounge, next door to the main room. It's a nice hang - an oasis in the middle of Times Square. It's funny, you come out of there after a night of playing downstairs and the neon lights from The Lion King are just blinding!

DTB: Tell us about your best show ever.

CB: Wow, that's tough. Our show at Groningen Rhythm and Blues Night was definitely a highlight of our Netherlands tour. We played in a beautiful, great-sounding concert hall and the show was broadcast on National Dutch Public Radio. There's a clip from it up on You Tube:
We played a really fun set a few weeks back at the New York State Blues Festival in Syracuse. There are so many factors and variables involved in what makes a good could have been driving all day or be really tired, but when it's time to play it's time to PLAY!

DTB: Anything else that you’d like to share with us?

CB: We'll be playing in my hometown of Somerville at Johnny D's on Thursday, October 29th. We're looking forward to playing in the Boston area again!

- Bob Stannard

"MOJO Magazine's #1 Blues Album of 2008!"

FALL CHANGES named MOJO's #1 Blues Album of 2008!
January 2009 issue

Compiled by Tony Russell

1. Chris Bergson Band - Fall Changes (2 Shirts)
2. Ian Siegal - The Dust (Nugene)
3. Joe Louis Walker - Witness To The Blues (Stony Plain)
4. Various - The History Of Rhythm & Blues: Part 1: 1925-1942 (Rhythm and Blues)
5. Watermelon Slim & The Workers - No Paid Holidays (NorthernBlues)
6. Sterling Harrison - South Of The Snooty Fox (Hack Tone)
7. Harrison Kennedy - High Country Blues (Electro-Fi)
8. Various - The Downhome Blues Sessions Volume 5 (Ace)
9. B.B. King - One Kind Favor (Geffen/Universal)
10. Various - Bob Geddins' Big Town Records Story Acrobat) - Tony Russell

"BLUES REVUE - Live Show Feature"

APRIL / MAY 2008 Issue
Chris Bergson Band - Rodeo Bar
New York City - Jan. 10

It takes a confident musician to pack his band with some of the hottest players in New York City, but singer/songwriter/guitarist Chris Bergson is equal to the company he keeps. On this night, he shared the foreground of a tiny stage with saxophone wizard Jay Collins and Bruce Katz (a Pinetop Perkins Piano Player of the Year nominee at this year's Blues Music Awards). The star power was anchored by drummer Diego Voglino and electric bassist Tim Luntzel, who shared their crowded space with cow skulls, a black velvet Elvis and a gigantic buffalo head in front of a packed house of cheering, whistling fans.

With his shy grin and mop of unruly hair, Bergson might remind you of your high-school boyfriend – at least until he straps on his shiny, red Gibson and steps up to the mike. Starting with the rocking “Gowanus Heights” from his recently released album Fall Changes, the young virtuoso took charge of the stage. He growled out the vivid lyrics about Brooklyn street life and launched a series of dazzling flights of fancy on the guitar, playing as organically as if the instrument were a third arm. On “Latitude,” a song about coming to grips with compromise, Bergson’s raucous guitar was the sound of ambivalence, like an argument where no one gives in. The first set also featured a few selections from the band’s 2005 record, Another Day, including the moody title song, built around a spooky sax-and-guitar riff that moved between minor and major keys. The beautiful “High Above the Morning” brought a guitar solo, thrilling enough to make you cry, while “Greyhound Station,” about searching for artistic inspiration, showcased Katz’s soulful organ playing. Eyes closed and head thrown back, he catapulted the audience through several aural universes in a few brief moments.

Bergson showed off his Delta blues skills on the ominous “Three Sisters” and the Mississippi Fred McDowell-inspired “Rain Beatin’ Down” from the new album. With only Voglino playing softly behind him, Bergson’s sensual slide guitar brought home the conjugal feeling as vividly as his passionate lyrics. The room hushed for “Sanctuary,” a love song embroidered by Katz’s tender piano and Collins’ provocative sax. On Collins’ “The Engine,” the band hit its explosive peak, Bergson’s slide threatening to careen out of control like the relationship described in the song. Driven by the drums and Luntzel’s tough bass groove, Katz’s piano burst forth as if he had been building up to it all night.

The band had fun with covers like Dylan’s “When I Paint My Masterpiece,” and John Prine’s “Sweet Revenge.” Another highlight was the Otis Redding chestnut “You Left The Water Running,” with Katz cooking on organ and Collins’ sly, playful baritone sax. Side-by-side shouting by Bergson and Collins was perfect for this funky classic, showing how two rough voices can make for a sweet and soulful sound. The energy level didn't drop as the night progressed: Bergson’s last solo of the night – on Freddie King’s “The Stumble,” covered on his 2003 album Blues – was just as fresh, inventive and fired-up as the first.

- Kay Cordtz

"ROLL Magazine"

Chris Bergson Band | Fall Changes

2 Shirt Records |
Roll's Quick Pick 3

Chris Bergson plays the kind of guitar you can build a house on; when he’s on rhythm with his Gibson ES–335, he holds it down hard…when he’s on lead, it’s B.B. meets Steve Cropper meets John Scofield…which is my cockeyed way of saying he’s good, y’all. (Plus, he’s a pretty damn good blues singer.) With half of the Organiks: Bruce Katz on piano/B3, Jay Collins on sax and background vocals, plus Ollabelle’s Tony Leone on drums, and bassist Chris Berger, Bergson turns in a tasty set of mostly originals recorded (by Justin Guip) at Levon Helm Studios, enhanced by covers of “Are You Experienced” and Levon–fave “When I Paint My Masterpiece.” With special guests Amy Helm and saxman Erik Lawrence, this release is soul–satisfying.

- Ross Rice


Chris Bergson is a serious talent. The Brooklyn-based vocalist/guitarist also knows a thing or two about assembling a top-notch crew, and on his latest effort, Fall Changes, it all comes together in an intense outing that showcases Bergson's many talents and influences.

Bergson gives early notice to the listener on the album's opening cut, "Gowanus Heights", of his prowess as both a performer and songwriter. With a horn section that would do the old Stax crew proud, Bergson lures the listener into his world of jazz influenced blues and doesn't let up until the final cut.

Joined here by a band that features Hammond B-3 maestro Bruce Katz and Jay Collins on saxophone, Bergson is not afraid to stretch out and cover some surprising territory, taking on Bob Dylan's "When I Paint My Masterpiece" and even Jimi Hendrix's "Are You Experienced?" But don't let that scare you away.

Bergson transforms the Dylan cut into a horn-drenched, swinging affair and even tones down the Hendrix cover thanks to Collins' soaring sax and Katz's warm organ tone, which allow Bergson to demonstrate his axe abilities without overindulging.

Both jazzy and bluesy with a slight dash of rock and massive amounts of melody, Fall Changes is a treat. - Dave Ruthenberg


SPOTLIGHT - New York Stories: A NYC jazz guitarist mines the blues for inspiration

Chris Bergson Band
Fall Changes
2 Shirts 1003

Chris Bergson's youthful vitality combines with the gravelly voice and blues sensibility of an old soul. He has a flair for writing songs that ring true, especially when played by his group of some of the hippest, most talented musicians on today's scene. With Bergson's fiery guitar leading the way, Chris Berger (bass), Jay Collins (sax), Bruce Katz (keys), and Tony Leone (drums) work magic on this collection of mostly original songs that reflect the rhythms of their Brooklyn lives.

Fall Changes grabs hold immediately with the rocking "Gowanus Heights," a vivid portrait of urban life. Its jazzy groove, cinematic lyrics, and dazzling choir of horns (Collins on tenor sax, Erik Lawrence on baritone sax and Kenny Rampton on trumpet) soulfully convey the sense of surprise waiting around every city street corner; it's anchored by Leone and Berger, who find the funky heartbeat of the 'hood. "Sanctuary" is an unabashed declaration of love, and "Rain Beatin' Down," another upbeat love song, is goosed by Amy Helm's sweet 'n' sassy background vocals.

Like the season it describes, the title track harbors a melancholy feel, exuding both nostalgia and apprehension as Bergson's edgy vocal counterpoints Katz's sparkling piano and Leone's scatty beats. The band tackles some interesting covers, including "When I Paint My Masterpiece"; Bergson hollers out Dylan's tale of love and art in a foreign land over Leone's funky drums and the joyful shouts of the horn trio. Bergson's emotional delivery of Jimi Hendrix's "Are You Experienced?" is catapulted into another dimenion by Collins' otherworldly sax riffs.

Despite its subject matter, this album sports a relaxed, rural vibe that reflects the fact that it was cut at Levon Helm's studio in Woodstock, New York. The disc's layers reveal themselves subtly through repeated listens, but Bergson's stirring voice and glorious guitar command immediate attention. - Kay Cordtz


Chris Bergson Band
Fall Changes
(2 Shirts Records)

There’s a lot to hear on Fall Changes, and it just gets better with every play. Bergson has recruited top drawer musicians, most with jazz roots, to play soulful songs behind his growly vocals and bluesy guitar with irresistible results. Bergson’s voice (it’s just a rumor he was raised by wolves) and his soaring guitar are just a few of the elements that lift up this collection. There are nine original songs about city life and love, and a few interesting covers of great ones from the vaults of artists as diverse as Bob Dylan (“When I Paint My Masterpiece”) Jimi Hendrix (“Are You Experienced?”) and Ray Charles (“Drown in My Own Tears.”)

When Bergson sings about Brooklyn street life (“Gowanus Heights,” “The Bungler”), you can smell the gritty streets and feel the craziness waiting around the corner. And his charming love songs (“Sanctuary” and “Rain Beatin’ Down”) are touching and real, as songs written by the recently wed often are. His spare and lovely guitar parts, particularly on these songs, are a tour de force. But on nearly every track, Bergson’s secret weapons are the amazing musical skills of his bandmates.

Jay Collins’ sweet saxophone phrases intertwining with Bruce Katz’s sparkling piano manage to be both hot and classy, and on the title track, in the space of a few bars, they transform a melancholy reverie on change and loss to a hopeful celebration. On Collins’ “The Engine,” Chris Berger’s acoustic bass holds the song’s signature riff over Tony Leone’s angry beat while Bergson snarls the lyrics. Nearly everything about this record is fresh and inventive, but it’s also a treat to dig Bergson’s homage to Jimi (and Duane) on “Are You Experienced?” over Leone’s rolling drums.

- Kay Cordtz


Gibson Recommends Chris Bergson Band Fall Changes

Sean McDevitt | 09.13.2007

When Brooklyn-based Chris Bergson headed upstate to Woodstock, New York, to cut his latest album of rootsy rhythm & blues at the recording studio of Band drummer Levon Helm, the guitarist and vocalist made sure to bring the sounds of Muscle Shoals and Memphis along for the ride. Aside from showcasing some seriously street-smart songwriting and Allman-esque vocal prowess, Fall Changes also suggests an artist in creative transition: While those who have caught one of Bergson’s New York City club gigs know that he’s equally adept playing jazz or the blues, this album is decidedly neither. Sure, flashes of both genres—along with a host of other musical strands—infiltrate from time to time, but they never threaten the big picture. And at day’s end, this release (produced by Bergson and blues guitarist Dave Rubin) works hard to remain varied while simultaneously resisting categorization. The soaring tenor saxophone of bandmate Jay Collins serves as the perfect complement—and sometimes foil—to Bergson’s tasteful guitar lines, which he skillfully coaxes from his dotneck reissue ES-335. The opening “Gowanus Heights” and the tempo-shifting “Latitude” are firmly rooted in Americana, Collins’ horn lines emanating a Stax vibe; the groove-laden “Float Your Mind,” where Bergson’s guitar chops are firmly on display, is a straight-ahead rocker; the gentle “Sanctuary” offers a meditative, almost gospel-like quality; keyboardist Bruce Katz shines on “The Bungler,” a trip down to New Orleans; and “Rain Beatin’ Down,” with its stark instrumentation, irresistible tension and release (and pronounced bottom end), feels like something Delta blues master Charley Patton might have played—had he lived to see the dawn of the electric guitar. While the originals speak volumes about Bergson’s musical ambition, his choice of covers says every bit as much: He digs deep into Dylan’s “When I Paint My Masterpiece,” reimagines Hendrix’s “Are You Experienced?” as a horn excursion, and treats Ray Charles’ “Drown in My Own Tears” with tasteful, economical B.B.-like guitar lines. A fully-realized effort from a rising artist.


Chris Bergson Band - Fall Changes (2 Shirts)

While some albums merely stand the test of time others are timeless. There exists a rich vein of (only) American contemporary music that cannot be defined by its time, place or genre and which cloaks itself in the full spectrum of new world musical traditions, in the process producing the finest that “rock” can offer. This magnificent collection by Chris Bergson, recorded at Levon Helm’s Woodstock studios, follows the Band in 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. A neatly balanced set of self-penned numbers and entirely justified covers (‘Are You Experienced’ is a revelation!) are immaculately played by a tight and energetic band complimenting excellent guitar work with washes of organ and honking sax. Crisply but roundly produced, Fall Changes is an undeniable pointer to a talent with major league potential.

- Neil Blunt


Fall Changes
2 Shirts

Special thanks are given to Levon Helm for his contribution and the album was recorded and mixed at Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, so no wonder you can feel the warm style of The Band coming though. Amy Helm also makes an appearance, adding vocals on two of the tracks. Tremendous! The latest and second album from New Yorker Chris Bergson and his band starts off with 'Gowanus Heights', a funky Blues showing Bergson's fine gravely voice and understated guitar work. The title track, 'Fall Changes', comes in with a tasteful horn intro followed by a bit of classy funk with some pointed guitar. There are two covers on the album, the first being Dylan's 'When I Paint My Masterpiece', which is a platform for Bergson's fine vocals, some good sax and some tasty guitar. The other is Hendrix's 'Are You Experienced?' - a fine run through of an old favorite. For me, the best tracks are the Bergson-penned ones, as the band seems to relate to them more, and I would highlight 'Rain Beating Down', a slide based song featuring Bergson with backing from Amy Helm. "Fall Changes" showcases the Chris Bergson Band's personal blend of contemporary Americana, highlighting Bergson's crafted writing, some soulful vocals and the first class musicianship of a class band.

- Kevin Wharton - Kevin Wharton


Singer, songwriter and guitarist Chris Bergson's band has a new album out titled Fall Changes. The album was recorded at Levon Helm Studios with several of the musicians from The Levon Helm Band sitting in, including the wonderful Amy Helm. Bergson has also been performing with Levon at the Midnight Rambles, and Levon and Amy are both credited with a "special thanks" on Fall Changes. The music is rootsy and funky, with strong vocals and guitar from Bergson and brilliant playing from the Chris Bergson band (Tony Leone on drums, Bruce Katz on B3 and piano, Jay Collins on sax and Chris Berger on bass). I particularly liked the opening track, an original titled "Gowanus Heights" and the inventive cover of Dylan's "When I Paint My Masterpiece". Highly recommended! Available from - Jan Hoiberg


New Release: Chris Bergson Band - Fall Changes

I don't usually feature jazz releases on the Bus. Then again, Chris Bergson's new release Fall Changes covers so many genres of American music that is defies categories.

Brooklyn-based guitarist/singer/songwriter Chris Bergson has played with such jazz greats as Annie Ross, Dena DeRose, and Norah Jones. His two jazz CDs on the Juniper label received wide acclaim and he has appeared on many other releases as a sideman.

In 2002, Bergson was appointed a Jazz Ambassador of the United States by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the U.S. State Department. His trio was sent on a tour of eight countries performing concerts and holding clinics for local musicians.

His critically acclaimed 2005 release, Another Day, was a showcase for his own brand of contemporary Americana where "...funk, soul, blues, folk and delectable jazz come together seamlessly" (All About Jazz).

With Fall Changes Chris Bergson takes listeners on a tour of the many sounds of the blues. Starting with the Muscle Shoals influenced 'Gowanus Heights" Bergson then shifts smoothly into the blues/rock "Float Your Mind"?. This celebration of the different flavors of the blues continues with each song until the sounds of New Orleans, Memphis, Chicago, the Delta, and more, are covered.

Chris Bergson is a dynamic, masterful guitar player. His guitar is smooth and articulate, never overpowering or tiresome. Add to this his warm, soulful vocals and an incredible assembly of backing musicians making Fall Changes one of the most dynamic and impressive new blues releases I've heard in years. - Ed

"GUITAR ONE - Jazz Standard, NYC"

Chris Bergson Band at Jazz Standard, NYC

Guitar One
June, 2006 | BY Sean McDevitt

"Versatile, inspired playing, with vocals to match." - Sean McDevitt

Up-and-comer Chris Bergson and his three-piece band opened their first set by flashing some jazzy instrumental prowess, closed it with a rousing cover of Jimi Hendrix's "Are You Experienced," and in between confidentally hit on R&B, Delta blues, funk, and soul. Bergson, armed with a red Gibson ES-335 and a round tone, brought all his chops to bear on "Come and Gone", a track from the band's ANOTHER DAY (2 Shirts), seamlessly gliding from stinging, single-note runs to fat, jazzy chord textures. He later picked up a Gibson L-5 and delivered a solo rendition of the Skip James-inspired 'Three Sisters', then tacked on Son House's "Death Letter". Versatile, inspired playing, with vocals to match. -SM - Sean McDevitt

"BOSTON PHOENIX Editor's Pick- Regattabar"

Boston Phoenix
May 03, 2006 | BY Ted Drozdowski
Chris Bergson Band at Regattabar - Editor's Pick
Wednesday, May 3rd

"NYC singer/guitarist CHRIS BERGSON's smooth, jazz-inflected take on the blues marks this young artist as a player who may just help extend the genre's shelf life. He makes his area debut at the Regattabar with a classy band including Boston wizards Bruce Katz on organ and Matt Wilson on drums." - Ted Drozdowski

"BLUES REVUE - Another Day"

Blues Revue
August 01, 2005 | BY Tom Hyslop

Hear a different, more introspective side of the NYC scene on Another Day (2 Shirts 1002) by the Chris Bergson Band. Their music, developed over time at the Jazz Standard, is quiet yet potent. Jay Collins' tenor saxophone and Bergson's evocative guitar are the primary instrumental voices, with Bergson's vocals warm and personal. Come and Gone simmers; gorgeous ballads Another Day and High Above the Morning are deep country soul; Greyhound Station is standard (but smart) funky blues; Three Sisters incorporates Son House's Death Letter to haunting effect; the upbeat soul-jazz number Up in Buffalo jumps out on the strength of Matt Wilson's drums.
- Tom Hyslop

"BLUES IN BRITAIN - Another Day"

Blues in Britain Magazine
May 01, 2005 | BY Mick Rainsford
Chris Bergson Band - Another Day
2 Shirts Records CD1002

Chris Bergson moved to New York in 1995, forging a reputation as a talented jazz guitarist backing artists like Annie Ross and Norah Jones. Bergson, however, had another love, blues and roots music offering him the opportunity to expand his musical repertoire and develop the highly personalized blend of blues, jazz and soul that makes Another Day such an outstanding set.

Bergson is accompanied by a stellar band that comprises Jay Collins (tenor sax), Chris Berger (bass) and Matt Wilson (drums), with Brian Charette guesting on organ (2 tracks); artists whose musical acumen provides the perfect foil for Bergson's deeply soulful baritone vocals and dynamic fretwork. The set opens with "Come And Gone" where Bergson?s soul infused vocals ride a funkily hypnotic Wolf styled riff replete with tantalizing guitar and smoky jazz inflected sax, reminding me of an urban reincarnation of RL Burnside or Junior Kimbrough. The wolf influence surfaces again on "Greyhound Station" where Collins' funky sax rightfully takes centre stage.

Haunting vocals and beautifully understated guitar permeate the moody minor key "High Above The Morning" and the entrancing "Three Sisters"; "Up In Buffalo" generates a mellow swing fired by Collins' jazz inflected sax and Bergson's melancholy guitar which melds the influences of Wes Montgomery and T-Bone Walker to perfection; whilst the title track is a moody blues in the "St James Infirmary" mould replete with baying sax and wistful vocals bathed by Charette's swirling organ.

Bergson is a hugely talented artist who will appeal to aficionados of most blues genres.

Rating: 9
- Mick Rainsford

May 02, 2005 | BY Dave Rubin
Chris Bergson Band at Jazz Standard, January 05, NYC

Jazz and blues derive from the same roots, but few guitarists can play both convincingly. 28-year old Chris Bergson, however, is so skilled that he can switch from Rodgers and Hart's "Little Girl Blue" on an ES-335 to a solo country medley of "Three Sisters/Death Letter Blues" on an ES-125 with nary a breather in between. On the former he played a fluid, glissy, vocal-like solo that was tender and well-articulated, while on the latter he got way 'down in the alley" with total authenticity that paid the proper respect to Skip James.

With Jay Collins (tenor sax), Chris Berger (bass) and Matt Wilson (drums), Bergson played and sang in his rich baritone on original selections from his latest CD, appropriately titled Blues. He opened with "Cold November" and "Deserted Beach" two, cool jazzy instrumentals with bluesy touches furnished in part by his mastery of the composite blues scale that allows melody to easily seep into his blues licks. Guitarists from Billy Butler to Kenny Burrell and George Benson have mixed healthy doses of the blues with their jazz, but Bergson has a deeper understanding of country blues than his predecessors ever indicated.

Bergson always keeps his chops in check, resisting the impulse to blaze like a neo-bebopper on the jazz numbers or wail like SRV on the blues tunes. Instead, he phrases like a horn player with strong rhythmic accents and wide interval leaps. On the I-chord funk vamp of "Come and Gone" he fluidly combined double-stops, partial chords and bass lines, virtually carrying the band on his shoulders as he comped and filled brilliantly while performing with animation. "Up in Buffalo" is a medium 12 bar blues with hip chord substitutions that contained an angular solo that ended with Bergson comping and tossing off single-note lines like a six-string wizard. The number also afforded Wilson a chance to take the spotlight with a drum solo that slyly implied the blues changes. The closer for the set was "Another Day" a surprising rock composition that only showed Bergson's versatility

One of the problems that has faced jazz for years is the ability to appeal to a younger audience. Chris Bergson, with his unique ability to easily straddle genres, could be just the antidote. - Play Blues / Dave Rubin

"ROOTSTIME - Another Day"

April 01, 2005 | BY Freddy Cellis
Chris Bergson Band - Another Day
2 Shirts Records
April 2005

On the CD Another Day by the Chris Bergson Band, all facets of his guitar work pass the review. One should view the title as a metaphor of life itself with its different moments, which is why we find a beautiful collection of different songs on this CD where the magnificent guitar work of Chris Bergson takes center stage and where one can hear influences ranging from James Brown to James Taylor as well as a style of his own. If you like the music of Coltrane, Muddy Waters and The Band, you will definitely like this Chris Bergson Band CD with all it's jazz and blues influences. Just listen to the beautiful decorations of the melody in "Three Sisters/Death Letter" which lasts more than seven minutes. His ear for good melodies ensures that this is not just a CD for guitarists, but for everybody who loves beautiful songs, although there is lots to enjoy for guitarists such as in "Greyhound Station". I could write something about every song but my advice would be: Let yourself be taken by surprise by "Another Day" that in my opinion may last endlessly. Hopefully this will give his previous CDs "Blues for Some Friends of Mine" (1997), "Wait for Spring" (2001) and "Blues" (2003) the attention they deserve because they are definitely worth it. On Another Day, Chris Bergson interestingly mixes modern jazz and blues with an inviting dose of funk. Besides, Chris Bergson's voice is aged and full of soul which accompanies the sound of his four man band perfectly. -

"ALL ABOUT JAZZ - Another Day"

All About Jazz
March 01, 2005 | BY Jim Santella

Jazz and blues come together on Chris Bergson's latest release, Another Day, which features the expressive singer/guitarist in a set of originals that come from deep within himself. American folk music remains his core element as Bergson surrounds his messages with earthy blues hues and refreshing jazz overtones.

His band provides a hearty aura that allows the leader to explore various textures in comfortable settings. Bergson's enthusiasm pours forth with a message that ranges from James Brown to James Taylor. Funk, soul, blues, folk and delectable jazz come together seamlessly.

"Death Letter, a searing blues anthem by Son House, follows Bergson's "Three Sisters" in a slow, dramatic blues affair that recalls the plaintive cries of our original Mississippi Delta music forefathers. The singer puts a tear in your eye with his emotional swells, both from his vocal interpretations and through his powerful guitar response. Bergson communicates effectively on all levels.

"Another Day" hits home real quick. From its opening bars, the song puts you in a mood of reflection and waiting: waiting to see what the future holds. Don't we all wonder about it all the time? Bergson sings, "I woke up feeling down today?" Then he continues to explain what's goin' on, and how our lives change by leaps and bounds. Looking forward to another day always works, doesn't it? Bergson's argument proves convincing. No reason to be feelin' down, when we've got great music such as this to help carry the load. It'll make your day.


Chris Bergson Band

IMITATE THE SUN (2 Shirts Records / Bertus)

FALL CHANGES (2 Shirts Records / Bertus)

Available on iTunes,, CD Baby, eMusic, Rhapsody, Napster and

Chris Bergson Band - ANOTHER DAY (2 Shirts Records)

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BSMF Records




"One of the most inventive songwriters in modern blues music." Richard Skelly, All Music Guide

Hailed by Living Blues as "A Serious Talent", New York guitarist, singer and songwriter Chris Bergson is that exceptionally rare individual with the burgeoning talent and emotional reserve to embrace fully the indigenous music of the South, along with R&B, rock and folk.

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. Bergson has performed and shared the stage with Hubert Sumlin, Little Sammy Davis, Etta James, John Hammond, Bettye Lavette, and Levon Helm, to name just a few.

Imitate the Sun contains six strikingly original songs and four thoughtful covers that allow his fertile creativity free rein. With his regular band of Jay Collins (tenor and baritone saxes, backing vocals, horn arrangements), Matt Clohesy (bass) and Tony Leone (drums, percussion) augmented by Bruce Katz (organ, piano, Wurlitzer organ), Kenny Rampton (trumpet) and Chris Karlic (baritone sax), Bergson makes every track a complete and rewarding musical statement. “Goin’ Home” has the easy lope, elastic groove and pastoral Americana ambience reminiscent of the Band at which Bergson excels. Addressing the classic theme of returning to the familiarity and comfort of the mythic “home” for which so many people long, he amplifies his yearning with twangy, pedal steel-style “pickin’ ‘n grinnin’” and tasty down home embellishments. The title track presents a dramatic soul groove with an uplifting chorus, a gleefully honking tenor solo from Collins and the poignant lyric of “…soon I'm gonna imitate the sun, after days of having his rays, obscured by smog and storms, breaks through the clouds, shines on down, blinding all below..." delivered with his emotive and convincing growl. Again his guitar speaks its piece as Bergson squeezes its neck until it shouts back in defiance.

“Shattered Avenue” is an atmospheric solo country blues lament showcasing his masterful, authentic and bone-chilling electric slide guitar. In a measured voice all the more powerful for its restraint, Bergson adds to the blues canon as he ruefully charges his lover with, “…spend half your life tryin’ to soothe your mind, sayin’ everything’s all right.” A dynamic change of pace follows with the minor key, horn-driven Memphis soul of “Hello Bertha.” Paying homage to a woman of easy virtue with sympathy for her lot in life while simultaneously acknowledging the value of her services, he sings, “Shakin’ off the shackles of another shady week” and “Hello Bertha, it’s good to see you again.” With his rhythm section locked-in to a taut but limber pocket, he unfurls an amazing “vocal” guitar solo shorn of the histrionics a lesser instrumentalist may have been tempted to indulge.

A surging, churning cover of Howlin’ Wolf’s classic Delta blues romp “Down in the Bottom” plays to one of Bergson’s many strengths as his natural, unaffected bluesy drawl is complimented by his layered slide and lead guitars. Veteran and stellar keyboardist Katz, who provides invaluable backing throughout, adds piquant acoustic piano that contrasts texturally with the jubilantly grinding axes. Dramatically switching moods and modes, Bergson next features a poetic love song cast as a gentle, wistful blues ballad. “Laying It Down in White” brilliantly employs the melancholy imagery of “taking out the Christmas tree and laying it down in white…on the stoop, New Year’s day, snow driftin’ by…” as the metaphor for his insecurity regarding his lover’s true intentions. Turning down the volume, he accompanies his heartfelt vocal with subtle fingerpicked rhythm and silky smooth lead guitars. The metaphors continue on the Bessie Smith classic “You’ve Been a Good Old Wagon” (“…mama, but you done broke down”) with both Bergson and Katz channeling the 1920s era of the classic women blues singers. Displaying slide licks reminiscent of Hawaiian