Renaissance man David Berkeley sets sail in ‘Cardboard Boats’

David Berkeley‘Cardboard Boat’
David Berkeley (Straw Man)
4 stars out of 5

I first heard the wistful voice of singer/songwriter David Berkeley in 2009, when he contributed a song to the “Ciao My Shining Star” Mark Mulcahy tribute album. And I became a fan with the release of his 2011 album “Some Kind of Cure.” Berkeley, a true renaissance man and wrote an accompanying book of short stories with one tale for each of the record’s 13 tunes.

David Berkeley CDHe continues in the same vein on newest offering “Cardboard Boat.” It’s another melancholic — but quite ear-pleasing — collection of tunes and has an accompanying novella, “The Free Brontosaurus,” with 10 interwoven stories. I guess we should expect nothing less from a guy with a degree in literature from Harvard.

Berkeley is a gifted writer and he showcases those skills throughout the 10-track, 48-minute platter. The centerpiece of the album is the jaw-droppingly good title track, but he also delivers the goods on keepers “To the Sea,”, “Colored Birds,” “Hole in My Heart,” “Brighter Day” and “Dinosaur and Sages.” I’ve yet to read his short stories, but if they are anywhere close to as good as Berkeley’s music I’m sure to enjoy them. And I’m betting that you will, too. (Jeffrey Sisk)

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