John Bergstrom

John Bergstrom


The West is a state of mind. The music of John Bergstrom takes you to that place, including original and traditional songs. You can almost smell the camp fire.


I'm a story teller. That's pretty much the conclusion you could draw when looking at my music and my life. I majored in history in school, and have always enjoyed music that tells a story. I was raised on tv and movie westerns, which were full of music. The traditional music of the west is a fundamental part of America's musical history. Within more recent years has come a development of new music about the west. These are the three sources that define my repertoire.
In recent years, a number of performers and groups have inspired me. Foremost is the group New West. Their ability to present western songs with enthusiasm and a ring of truth put me on the road to my debut CD. In the summer of 2009, I introduced my second CD, "Throw Down the Box."
Much of my show is my own songs about historical figures like the bandits Tiburcio Vasquez and Black Bart, places I've visited and admired like Sedona, Arizona, or dramatic/tragic events like the collapse of the St. Francis Dam in 1928. I mix in traditional songs about the cowboy life, and an occassional country song for added color.
The title song of my first CD is "Western State of Mind." It's biographical in nature and expresses my view of the west that isn't really a particular place, but is a mind set: love of the land; appreciation for what has come before; willingness to put in a good day's work. The foks that settled this great land were just regular folks that did amazing things because they had to in order to face the challenges that presented themselves. Those people didn't always succeed. That's not even the point. The effort to extend themselves, build a new life for their families, to build this country, is the west. This is the ultimate inspiration for my music. You can check out a couple of performance videos on youTube.


My Western State of Mind

Written By: John Bergstrom

I’m headin’ up highway Forty, comin’ out of L.A.
Headin’ for New Mexico; Arizona’s on the way.
Through the growth of the California deserts; passing
those city signs
I’m lookin’ for my western state o’ mind.


I’m lookin’ for my western state o’ mind.
Where the air is clear and the skies are blue and
you’re close to mountain pines.
That’s stress in your rear view mirror as you crossthe Arizona line,
I’m lookin’ for my western state o’ mind.


Crossin’ the Colorado, the sky starts looking fine.
In a couple of hours I’ll forget to check the time.
Nearin’ the four corners, there’s a hawk circlin’ high,
While I’m lookin’ for my western state of mind.


At sunset I pull over, stretch and breathe a sigh.
I listen to the evenin’ breeze as the stars fill the sky.
It’s time to take a break from the rush of city life,
And look for my western state of mind.


I’m looking for my western state of mind


CD... "Western State of Mind"
You can check out a taste of WSOM at CDbaby .com, my website, and my MySpace page, Western State of Mind
New CD! My new CD, "Throw Down the Box" is up and running too.

Set List

"San Antonio Rose"
"Tiburcio Vasquez"
"Throw Down the Box"
"Old Paint" [traditonal]
"Streets of Laredo" [traditional]
"Vaquero Song" by Dave Stamey
"Latchkey Cowboy"
"Western State of Mind"
"Frankie and Johnnie"
Each set is planned to be about 40 minutes, although it's a flexible as the situation requires.