elise berkes

elise berkes


simple, honest guitar. sweet, soothing melodies that are brought back down to earth by the raw and wrenching lyrical thought behind them. there is something powerful about solitude.


somewhere between dreams of happily ever after and the lingering pain of loss - that's where you have to look for reality.

always getting a bit ahead of herself, an adolescent elise started writing songs before even mastering an instrument. but dad saw that the days of dreamily studying the danelectros in musician's friend were not going to end anytime soon- so christmas brought a seafoam green miracle to their home that year. visual learner that she is, learning to play came complete with color coded flashcards, and late-night sessions with the brothers she had come to admire so much musically. early influences included pretty much everything that never got radio airplay by sixpence none the richer and sarah mclachlan.

these days, elise makes her home and her music under a stairwell in chattanooga, tn. in a few short years, the sounds that come from this little dynamo have evolved and grown tremendously. however, the simplicity and sincerity remain unaltered.


Here In The South

Written By: Elise K. Berkes

i don't think i can take another false alarm, i'll break
it's like the moments i can't take when i'm alone
and the punches keep on rolling from the hands i want to hold
it's like another day i sold for way too cheap

on and on i'm running
and the snipers keep on gunning
it's like an awful game where no one dies
they just get hurt

and the easy girls keep winning
and the boys can't keep from grinning
i don’t get it
and i'm crying and i'm queesy

i know you are never gonna call me up
and just say "baby, it was all a test
i realize you always had my back
and little girl, your kisses were the best"
in through the nose, out through the mouth
i would give up snow, and pop, and anything
just to be your girl here in the south

so i give up i guess
this wasn't worth half of the mess
just wanna lie on someone's chest
and not crowd their space

this can't be the plan
there's got to be a better man
someone who cares to understand
that i'm quiet, i'm thinking

maybe someone someday will call me up
and just say "baby, this is not a test
i want you to know i'll always have your back
and little girl, your kisses are the best"
in through the nose, out through the mouth
we can play in snow, drink pop, anything
we can just stay right here in the south
(october 24, 2004)

Not One Note

Written By: Elise K. Berkes

keep the words i tried to give to you
they weren't ever mine to give away
i'm afraid i'm leaving your good graces
but baby, there's no goodness where there's no grace

every day i'm trying to see clearly
but that just makes the missing worse at night
and all the while you tried to keep me fighting
whether or not i even made it out alive

god forbid that you not get what you want, when you want it
nothing lost ever claimed to try and find it's own way home
there is hope bigger than all the broken bags you choose to carry
but not a note from this whole opus struck a chord

simply put, i was tired so now i'm sleeping
and not a ghost of a memory of you will haunt my dreams
peace on earth is not a notion for the lost and the seeking
'cause i was seeking peace, and i lost you

different times and different places can't replace what's truly missing
pushing hard against the wind won't serve to make a weak man strong
i gave you more of myself than you have the strength to carry
and not a note from this whole opus struck a chord
not one note from this whole opus struck a chord
(october 17, 2004)

Set List

elise's sets are like that conversation you rarely have with a new acquaintance, the kind where your lives immediately and effortlessly intersect. parallels are numerous, joys and sorrows shared.
she can give you the whole 19 years up to that day, or just one season and all the changes that no doubt came with it. material is not very limited, but at this point 45 minutes seems to be a golden amount of time for elise. cover songs are definitely not staples of her sets, but she has performed versions of "letting the cables sleep" by bush, "you really got me" by the kinks, and "not pretty enough" by kasey chambers among others.