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Matraca Berg

by vaughn skow May 04, 2011 2 min read

First off, a reminder:  There is still a week to go on my Big Fat Speaker Giveaway!  And now, on to this weeks blog!  This week I want to turn you on to one of the greatest singers and songwriters you may just possibly have never heard of, Matraca Berg.  I first met Matraca at the Bluebird Café in Nashville when she and I were both just barely in our twenties; the difference was that she had already had her first #1 hit, and I was fresh off the Iowa turnip truck and green as it gets!  I wanta tell you a little more about Matraca, and share a cool link to her music, so read on!

First off, if you are not familiar with Matraca, check out this link to her new album, and some cool videos, too. 

I arrived in Nashville in 1985, and soon began a stint as the soundman at the Bluebird Café, a relationship that was to last, in one way or another, for a couple of decades!  Matraca was one of the first singer/songwriters I worked with at the bluebird. This was to be my introduction to the Nashville music scene ... and just how high the bar was!  This girl had it all:  she was flat-out gorgeous, sang her cute little butt off, and man, oh man, could she write songs!  It was clear, I wasn’t in Iowa (or Minnesota) any more!  I spent many a star-struck night at the soundboard as Matraca wove her musical magic at "the Bird".  I learned a lot about what it meant to truly be a top-level performing singer/songwriter through watching her do her thing.

A few years later, I was taught another music-city lesson through Matraca.  She was, naturally, offered a record deal ... after all she had the whole package!  That record, however, was not a hit.  It was pale, hollow, and lifeless compared to the real in-person Matraca Berg.  That was one of my first lessons in just how bad an artist can be made to sound when the wrong producer takes them down the wrong musical path.  The major labels bestowed similar fates upon many friends of mine through the years.  Because of this, I think I became very astute at what NOT to do when fate drops a very talented artist in your hands to "produce" a record on.  Some of life’s most positive lessons begin in a negative way. 

At any rate, Matraca is probably better off having NOT became a big recording star.  I’m fairly sure she has a better life because of it.  As a matter of fact, she has been able to continue on for all these years doing just what she loves, writing songs and performing them for people who care about the music, and who she cares about.  Cool, huh?  I’ll end on that note with a link to Seth Godin’s blog, check it out (it's awesome)!  See ya next time!                                                   

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