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Brian Berggoetz Makes The Most Of These Magical Times

The Tucspon troubadour seamlessly blends first-rate originals & reinvented classics.

Brian Berggoetz has a few new tricks up his sleeve (and a few old ones too) on his latest release Magical Times — showcasing today on Tinnitist.

On this seven-track followup to his 2022 full-length Wildflower, the southwestern singer-songwriter and guitarist harvests a new crop of thoughtful, earthy originals, peppered with inspired revamps of classics by heroes and icons of country and classic rock. And he blends them into album that has little trouble living up to its title.

From the strummy country-folk of the topical opening title cut and the lovelorn beauty of More Than You’ll Ever Know to the rugged orchestral roots-rock of Camacho Hill and the string-sweetened fingerpicked folk of Your Heart And Me, Berggoetz is at the top of his songwriting game here. Fashioned from his usual southwestern blend of country, folk, rock, blues and orchestral elements — and topped with forthright lyrics that touch the heart, soul and mind — these dusky, dusty gems can hold their own next to the work of Bruce Springsteen, Johnny Cash and U2. And they do.

Along with its slate of new originals, Magical Times finds Berggoetz boldly reworking a trio of classics: Cash’s Folsom Prison Blues (transformed from boom-chikka country to a bluesy, four-on-the-floor slow-groover), Springsteen’s Born To Run (stripped down to a sombre, grandly shimmering ballad, and U2’s MLK (which embraces the ambient beauty and soaring vocals of the original, but in sweeter, brighter tones). It takes some stones not only to tackle but also transform universally beloved fare like this, but thanks to his lightly twangy vocals and deft touch, Berggoetz honours the original works while making the songs his own.

No surprise there. After all, the self-taught guitarist and natural-born songwriter has been passionate about music for most of his life — and equally committed to blending different styles and influences into his own unique sound.

To achieve this, he leads not one but two bands, utilizing different approaches to take his sound to different dimensions. One group is a straight-up, pure rock ’n’ roll affair with a lead guitarist, drummer, and bassist backing Brian’s vocals and guitar. The other is more classical and experimental, with a warmer, more laid-back lineup of orchestral elements such as violin and cello. Sometimes, Berggoetz performs the same tracks with both lineups, but with different arrangements that play to each band’s strengths — and spotlight both sides of his creative personality.

Berggoetz also has a penchant for revamping classic songs, bringing a touch of his own personality and authenticity to the material he performs. Over the years, he has been fortunate enough to share bills with internationally respected acts such as Reverend Horton Heat, Charlie Sexton and Chris Murphy, to mention a few. His debut album Wildflower appeared in 2021.

Check out Magical Times above, hear more from Brian Berggoetz below and share the magic on his website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.