25 March 2010


Here's the first ever guest post from friend - o' - the - blog, D. She recently had the opportunity to chat with Michael Harrison Berg of Van Ghost (that's him in the pic, with fellow ghost-er Jen Hartwick), and she has filed this report.

Being introduced to new original music is always exciting and something I enjoy doing very much! I was recently given the opportunity to listen to a new band right from Chicago, IL known as Van Ghost. Their music is classified as a country rock, but if you listen, I think you may find it to be intriguingly different!

When you hear their music; you will discover an original blend of expressive lyrics, beautiful harmonies and incredible instrumentation! They definitely know how to show their talent through their music!

I was also lucky to speak with the lead singer-guitarist, Michael Harrison Berg. Michael is the person who has pulled this talented band together. He has been involved with music most of his life, and has been a part of all aspects of creating and marketing music - he knows what it takes to bring the music and it's inspiration to the people. In earlier days, He began helping friends who were in bands while they were in High School which eventually lead him to setting up gigs all over. He also wrote and played music of his own from time to time, but never really acknowledged that maybe he should try playing in front of an audience or with a band.

Michael combines the sounds of classic rock with original country/folk tunes and the result is remarkable!

He and the rest of the band members are fairly new in the business but are experts when it comes to their music! I was amazed and excited after listening to their first recorded album, Melodies for Lovers. It was released in late July of 2009. This album represents a band that has so much to share with their listeners. Van Ghost includes the lovely vocalist Jennifer Hartswick, guitarist Grant Tye, bassist Klem Hayes, pedal steel guitarist Rocco Labriola and drummer Greg Marsh. They give off great vibes to their fans, which release waves of influential energy that just keeps the listeners coming back for more!

The band recently entered Nashville’s Castle Studios to begin work on a new album. When talking about the wonderful experience that Van Ghost had when recording in Nashville, I was intrigued! Michael discussed the experience of being able to record in a historical place, home to many of the most talented artists. He described the studio sessions as being, “magical - everyone could feel all the positive energy and creativity throughout the sessions." Michael gave me brief details on how great it was having support from producer Justin Niebank, and record company executive Timm Martin.

They plan to return to Castle Studios in April to continue work the new album., tentatively titled Heartbroken On the Wrong Day, A single and video are slated for early this summer.

A musician needs to know exactly how to capture the attention of anyone through the melodies and lyrics of a song, thus creating a connection to each song. Michael and all of the other members from Van Ghost have accomplished this with their musical talent, and have been quite successful. After listening to their debut album, Melodies for Lovers, you can’t help but feel refreshed, and totally inspired, and excited for the new album.

Above: Van Ghost with producer Justin Niebank at The Castle, Nashville, TN.

Of course, I don't want to leave you without music, so here's a couple of tunes to get you going:

Van Ghost - "Summer Promise" From the debut album, Melodies for Lovers. (buy)
Van Ghost - "Telling Stories" Acoustic session from a free podcast, which is available here.

If you like what you hear, there's plenty more over at their official website, and, of course, MySpace.

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