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Hopes and fears: Old Glory inspires songs on David Berkeley’s latest EP

David Berkeley took a longer journey than usual in creating his latest EP.

He needed the time to carefully craft each song.

“I actually began writing this batch of songs just after the American presidential election in November of 2016,” Berkeley says. “I was in Washington, D.C., on tour with my new duo project, Son of Town Hall. My bandmate, Ben Parker, and I wandered into the National Museum of American History and found ourselves standing in front of the American flag that inspired the writing of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner'” That beautiful old flag was profoundly and surprisingly moving. It looked particularly fragile. Like our democracy itself, it was worn and weathered. It seemed to be nearly falling apart. I felt both a great love and a great fear for our union on that day. I still feel that. I finished these songs in the spring of 2018 shortly after the Parkland shooting.”

The tracks on the EP, “The Faded Red and Blue,” are about not only President Trump, but also suicide, immigration, gun violence and the environment.

“It was very difficult (to write), which is why it took a couple years,” he says. “I didn’t just want to write songs that raged or increased the amount of fear or division. I was trying to find a voice that did have some hope in it, even at times when I didn’t feel much hope.”

Berkeley felt that he had to address what’s going on in the world, because every day, there is something new.

“It’s mostly negative,” he says. “That seems to be the wrong direction.”

Berkeley is based in Santa Fe and recorded the majority of the album at The Kitchen Sink Recording Studio.

He also did a little recording at his home studio, as well as a studio in Atlanta.

The first song he wrote was the title track, which was done at his home studio.

“I didn’t think I was going to make an EP,” he says. “I did some extra tracking with at Jono’s (Manson) place and recorded with my Santa Fe band. I haven’t recorded with them, and I’ve been playing with them for five years. It had a really good flow. And I always wanted to collaborate with Jono.”

Berkeley, who is also an author, will perform two concerts as part of the AMP Concerts Library Series.

“These shows are great, because it’s a different way of putting on a show,” he says.