'You can dance in the library': Folk singer brings Wild West to Wareham
A bottle of wine, a suitcase and an umbrella are the only friends that singer songwriter Marc Berger needs.
The Wareham Public Library was anything but quiet on the night of Friday, Nov. 18, when Berger came to share songs and stories of the American West, including his song titled — what else? —“A Bottle of Wine, a Suitcase and an Umbrella.”
The song depicts the freedom and loneliness he experienced out on the road.
“I started playing guitar when I was 13,” Berger said, tuning his acoustic guitar. “I didn’t have any great intentions of writing songs.”
Since then, Berger has opened for Bob Dylan and performed at major concert venues across America. His song “The Last Song” was performed by Richie Havens at the Glastonbury Festival in England.
Approximately 50 people came to hear Berger perform his folk rock and Americana-inspired music.
His song “Nobody Gonna Ride the Railroad,” included such lyrics as “Nobody gonna ride the railroad, once proud and shiny, now she’s dusty and dry.”
Berger pleased the crowd with his acoustic set, consisting of his voice, his guitar and a harmonica.
“He is a very good storyteller,” said audience member Deanne Bonnir.
Berger, who grew up in Philadelphia and moved to New York as a young adult, said he felt out of place on the east coast. At 21, he embarked on a cross-country trip where he discovered his love for the West.
“Being out there was different from Manhattan,” he said. “When I was in New York everything felt important. Even what I was going to have for lunch felt like a big decision. But out there, nothing felt important.”
Between songs, Berger recounted one of his many adventures out west; the time he encountered a mountain goat while sitting on the ledge of Lincoln Peak in Glacier Park.
“I tried to avoid eye contact with this goat, but he stepped over my legs and sat next to me,” he said. “And there I was chilling with a goat 2,000 feet up, and an eagle flew above us.”
Berger’s songs were just as entertaining as his stories. The song, “Object of My Affection,” inflected with a country twang, caused the audience to tap their feet to the beat.
“I checked beforehand and made sure, just so you folks know, it is legal to dance in a library,” Berger said with a laugh.