Inge Berge
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Inge Berge

Gloucester, Massachusetts, United States | SELF

Gloucester, Massachusetts, United States | SELF
Band Rock Singer/Songwriter


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"A sharp and biting wake up call"


10 True Things & A Filthy, Dirty Lie

11-song CD

Through a sharp and biting wake up call, Inge Berge is here to suggest the following: we have all been thoroughly fooled and not only that, we are puppets on a string, mere pawns in the game of world domination and that above all, we are not in control. Producer, singer, guitarist, contrarian, writer, and self-proclaimed madman, Berge makes one eye-opening statement after another through the radio-friendly pop song. The disc’s opener, “Hacksaw,” is positively haunting with its imagery of chains, ropes, and tethers, along with the throaty repetition of “I’ve got a hacksaw.” This, along with the accompanying image of Berge brandishing a shotgun, only serves to emphasize his anarchical and often fear-provoking approach. “Dance, Monkey, Dance” and “Fix You Up” are among a series of clever tracks that address the extreme lengths we go to gain acceptance, along with the evils of conformity: “What happens to people can get in the blood/ The plasma of memory is one great flood/ We’ll tweak the wires/ We’ll stem the flow/ We’ll open the door when we say that you can go…/ We’ll invent you a disorder/ We sell labels for a quarter/ A pill for every boy and every girl.” With that being said, Berge covers Concrete Blonde’s “Joey” with its regretful theme of mourning for a relationship gone wrong: “If it’s love you’re looking for/ Well, I can give a little more/ And if you’re somewhere out there passed out on the floor/ oh, Joey, I’m not angry anymore.” The interesting thing about 10 True Things & A Filthy, Dirty Lie is that it can go from bitter and aggressive one minute to saddening and heartwarming the next. An emotional roller coaster ride, the album is evidence of Berge’s versatility as an artist. (Julia R. DeStefano) - The Noise Boston

"Gloucester music invasion hits House Of Blues"

by Joann MacKenzie

It's all Gloucester all night tonight in one of the main rooms of the Boston music scene.

That's when Inge Berge will rock the House of Blues famed front room with his Berge Band, following a 9 p.m. opening set by the newly-formed, Gloucester-based Bandit Kings.

And a bus full of Gloucester music fans will be going along for the ride, thanks to a charter provided by the two groups.

For Berg, whose big guitar acoustic sound has long been a staple on the small stages of Gloucester's late-night scene, the House of Blues gig is a golden opportunity, but Boston's Fenway neighborhood is familiar territory.

It was nearby Berklee College of Music that first drew the Norwegian native to America's shores back in 1989 when the young virtuoso — he plays 15 instruments, not including his voice — hoped to add his name to the legendary list of Euro-talents scoring films for the big silver screens of Hollywood.

Instead, Berge found himself recruited by the Gloucester Stage Company, scoring music for productions as resident music director. It wasn't Hollywood, but it was a highly respected spawning ground of original talents and material that gave Berge free reign to experiment — writing, arranging and performing for productions which included debut works by prolific playwright, Israel Horovitz.

When the curtain went down on an evening's production, Berge would get down to serious jamming with local musicians, and over the next few years, he banded and disbanded with a few of them, cultivating quite a cult following on Cape Ann, and finding in the comfort zone of kindred spirited musicians a bond that felt like family.

That bond will be much in evidence at the House of Blues tonight, when Gloucester bassist Joe Cardozza crosses over to play with both bands. Cardozza, who along with Gloucester drummer Leo Sharamitero, plays regularly with Berge, is also a member of the newly launched Bandit Kings.

"Gloucester's like that," says Bandits' founder and Gloucester native Dan King. "Everyone jams with everyone, the lines get blurred, and it's all just about making great music."

For Berge, who's theatrical resume also gets him frequently recruited off-island to play the bigger billboards of Broadway-sized productions, the past 10 years have, among other things, seen him on lead guitar in a national tour of "Footloose: The Musical" and The Who's "Tommy" in Tokyo.

But no matter where he is, he is always working on several fronts.

One of them is the recording studio, where his film-scoring background becomes apparent in his multi-layered, texturally complex electronic soundscapes. He loves the shock and chaos of discordancy, but his reviewers seem to love his more lyrical work, with its more subtle, sophisticated phrasing.

Reviewers are drawn to Berge as a musician's musician, and their observations have a lot in common. He is widely regarded as a natural melodist to whom catchy, pop phrasing comes easily. Perhaps so easily that he undervalues it.

"Berge goes to great lengths to be as discordant and perverse as possible," says one reviewer, "but his underlying musicality is always apparent, especially in his moving cover of Leonard Cohen's 'Alexandra Leaving.'"

His new album, "Ten True Things & A Filthy Lie" is getting a good reviews, and he'll be filling his 90 minutes on stage tonight with material from it.

Much of it will be familiar to Gloucester regulars at his weekly Sunday nights at Main Street's Dog Bar. The Bandit Kings will also be debuting material from their new album tonight.

The Gloucester invasion of the House of Blues comes in a week when the Lansdowne Street musical mecca has already featured 1980s punker Billy Idol on Tuesday night and former Guns N' Roses guitar wizard Slash on his latest solo venture Wednesday.

Meanwhile, after wrapping the summer with a bravado performance at Labor Day Weekend's big "Celebrate Gloucester" waterfront concert, Berge and his guitar will get a breather this Sunday, when Dog Bar closes for a staff wedding.

Joann Mackenzie can be reached at 978-283-7000, 3457, or at - Gloucester Daily Times

"Inge Berge Live Review June 2010"

The first thing I notice as I walk in the Dogbar are awesome decorations including pictures, masks and other props that Inge Berge has set up for his release party for his new album, 10 True Things & A Dirty Filthy Lie. Playing along with Inge is a group of professional musicians who are featured on his album including Joe Cardoza of the Bandit Kings on bass, Leo Sharamitaro on drums, Marina Evans on mini-Korg/backup vocals and Kascia Murray of Safety on backup vocals. This dream team of musicians, along with Inge’s powerful vocals, amazing stage presence and great guitar work, start jamming out Inge’s entire new album. There is quite a sizeable crowd and they are all into the music. The sound is very much rock and the songs are very catchy. Inge will be playing Sunday nights all summer long at the Dogbar in Gloucester—check him out! (Patrick Fitzpatrick - The Noise - Music around Boston

"The Zerosum - CD review"

The Zerosum
18-song CD
This is an odd, adventurous, and ultimately compelling amalgam of rock-opera posing (“Samsara”), spoken word (“Cold Steel”), backwards tracking (“Sir Percie Natase/ Superstring”), irresistible op-art hooks (“2 Little 2 Late”), swirly melodies (“Only Son I”), low-key compositional grandeur (“Home”) and goofball Brecht-and-Weill Cabaret-style one-offs (“Sweet Girl Insincere”)—all swimming in a sea of venturesome and sometimes perplexing electronica. You can break out individual tracks like the balladic lament “Who’s the Joke On,” or the bitter protest number “Goodbye America.” But it’s better experienced en masse, for the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, though a difficult nut to crack—assaulting this project with only two earthbound ears is rather like trying to penetrate a coconut with a toothpick. - The Noise - Music around Boston

"Berge For Breakfast - very tasty!"

Berge for Breakfast (very tasty)
by Light City Rambler

Upon first listen of the new Inge Berge record I am pleased to inform that all the theatrical, eclectic and polished elements that we know and love are more present than ever! To me this is his Sunday Morning record. Well more than half the songs are mid to down tempo. The arrangements are solidly on the pop side of production with touches of psychedelia, electronica and roots splashed in but not enough to overtake the tune which in my view is a compliment. If I was to give it any comparison 10 TRUE THINGS reminds me of the Nilsson's eccentric Son of Schmilsson, serious Art mastered without compromise. - iTunes Customer review of "Ten True Things & A Filthy Dirty Lie"

"The Zerosum - CD Review"

Inge Berge, singer/songwriter and self-described contrarian, knows how to write the quintessential pop song, but he’s not letting on with The Zerosum, an eclectic collage of metaphorical verses and catchy choruses masquerading as experimental ambient noise. Berge goes to great lengths to be as discordant and perverse as possible, but his underlying musicality is always apparent, especially in his moving cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Alexandra Leaving.” Solid pop songs notwithstanding, Berge treads the fine line between creative unpredictability and self-indulgent clamor, often tripping into the latter category with such bizarre inventions as the opening “Short Satanic Mass” (a tortured collection of screams, as advertised), and “New Fuckosphere,” a distorted bunch of repetitions of the word “fuck.” Constant reprisals generate a disconcerting feeling of déjà vu, and Berge often overdresses his tracks in an effort to disguise the quality beneath.

His constant push for profundity through fickleness is best described by his liner notes in a message “for nobody” in which he declares: “This album does not need to exist. It is a frivolous and unnecessary effort by a frivolous and unnecessary artist whose only claim to artistic eligibility and/or integrity arises from a near complete lack of interest in exploring other avenues of sustaining inspiration and confidence in his own life.” Berge glosses over his talents in production as well. Stripped down, the melodic structures more than stand up to scrutiny and they have a persuasive voice that sticks in your head just like all great pop songs should. The parental advisory on this one should read: postmodern musician taking himself too seriously ... or perhaps, not seriously enough. (Self-released) - Jess Baggia, Northeast Performer Magazine - Northeast Performer Magazine


-10 True Things & A Filthy Dirty Lie (Full length CD, 2010)

-The Zerosum (Full Length CD, 2007)

-One True Thing (Digital Single, 2009)

-Chasing Selma (Digital Single, 2009)

Also appears on:

Miranda Russell - "All The Pretty Little Horses" (2002):
Guitars, Vocals, Keys and Whistling

Toni Ann Enes - "Del Corazon" (2003): Guitars, Vocals & Loops

Dan King - "Two Kinds Of Mind" (2003): Hammond Organ



INGE BERGE, a NORWAY native, came to Boston in 1989 and went to BERKLEE. A young man full of half-baked dreams of becoming a famous Hollywood composer, he undertook a course of study in the art of FILM SCORING. Nothing ever really came of that. Instead, he settled in Gloucester, MA, where he got a gig as Resident Music Director at the GLOUCESTER STAGE CO. While there, he wrote, arranged and performed for various & sundry productions including original ISRAEL HOROVITZ plays, and a number of successful musical tribute shows (notably PAUL SIMON, CAROLE KING, GEORGE GERSHWIN.) It stands noting that nowadays, whenever Mr. Horovitz sees Inge on the street, he turns on his heel and runs away. There’s a story there. 

While enjoying his tenure among the refined thespians at GSC, Inge also cultivated his songwriting, putting his skills to use in the critically acclaimed trio VAGABOND VISION and later with the much more eclectic glam-rock ensemble THE INGE BERGE BAND. Both bands gained a tiny cult-following on the North Shore and in Boston.

In 2000, Inge stumbled into a national touring gig as lead guitarist for FOOTLOOSE: THE MUSICAL. He has since spent a majority of his time on THE ROAD, performing with BROADWAY PRODUCTIONS and providing the riffs for performers such as FRANKIE AVALON and CHUBBY CHECKER. Venues played include such hallowed halls as THE WANG CENTER, Boston, MA and THE KODAK THEATER, Hollywood, CA, - and more recently a stint in JAPAN performing THE WHO'S TOMMY in the heart of Tokyo's entertainment district. The Japanese liked Inge, and Inge liked playing for them, perhaps mostly because Inge had always dreamed of playing in a show involving pyrotechnics, and this show had’em. Those were good days. Inge often wishes he could afford to go back to Japan. :)

Presently, however, Inge is busy dressing up like a rockstar around the local barrooms of Cape Ann, notably the DOG BAR, where he plays for a mid-sized following of die-hards every Sunday night, pushing his new album “10 True Things & A Filthy Dirty Lie.”