September, 2022 Berkley Hart Folk Singer-songwriter Duo
Saturday, September 10, 7pm, Berkley Hart. Donation-based house concert, by invitation only. $25 cash donation at the door.
Berkley Hart is certainly in the top tier of musical storytellers. The combination of Kerrville New Folk Songwriter Award winner, Jeff Berkley, and stand-out wordsmith, Calman Hart, creates a pairing that has become one of the premier acoustic duos touring the country.
Each song they present is a little slice of contemporary life, like a little movie. It’s storytelling at its best and most succinct, whether told from the point of view of the family dog, or a single father consoling his heartbroken daughter after a disastrous prom date. The ups and downs of life are explored in their six CDs, with the piercing twists of observation in their lyrics accompanied by stunning harmonies and virtuosic guitar playing. Their live show is laced with comedy and their obvious camaraderie.
Hailing from San Diego, both Berkley and Hart emerged from the Southern California coffeehouse circuit, each building sizeable followings of their own before joining forces. As a duo for more than twenty years now, they have become fixtures on the folk circuit, making appearances at the Kerrville Folk Festival, as well as playing some of folk’s most prestigious venues.
Donation-based house concert, by invitation only. $25 cash donation at the door.
Claudia Nygaard writes a song like a surgeon with a fish knife. She scrapes off the scales, pulls the flesh back, and “aims right for the bone.” -Making A Scene Magazine. She is a mesmerizing storyteller, a cinematic lyricist, and her work reveals a daredevil’s vulnerability and a complete lack of self-censorship. On her latest album Lucky Girl she tackles unwanted pregnancy, dysfunctional relationships, statutory rape, alcoholism, and betrayal. “These are songs ripped right out of our tumultuous country, and sung with such strong belief that it all feels like a come-to-Jesus experience.” Americana Highways. But there are also songs on this recording that are heartfelt, humorous, scrappy, and sensual. With a lush amber honey voice that is powerful, resonant, and deeply emotional, Nygaard delivers thirteen little slices of Americana, and “Any one of these songs could emerge as a country standard.” -Goldmine.
Claudia’s writing has won her numerous awards; and radio chart success. The awards began in Los Angeles during the early years of her career, and they propelled her move to Nashville. In Music City she landed a job as a staff songwriter for Greenwood Music Publishing on Nashville’s Music Row. The position gave her the chance to polish her craft, and she went on to win both the prestigious Kerrville Folk Festival Songwriting Competition; and, with the title cut from her latest album Lucky Girl, the Tumbleweed Music Festival Songwriting Competition. The song rose to #3 on the Folk Alliance Radio song chart and the album to #5. It also received generous airplay on the Americana and roots music charts. The press raved about the recording, the songwriting, and her vocals, and Making A Scene magazine included Lucky Girl in their Top Albums of the Year list, as did several radio stations.
Nygaard’s previous album Let The Storm Roll In achieved similar success grabbing the #1 spot on the Cashbox Roots/Country Chart; and five stars from Maverick magazine. Legendary folk music magazine Sing Out praised her voice and said her songs “rival the likes of Guy Clark or Ian Tyson”. Her freshman effort Somewhere Else To Go, released on the UK recording label Round Tower, charted in the top five on the European Americana charts. It was also one of the top twelve records of the year in 2001 for the UK magazine Country Music Roundup.
Claudia is a quick witted and charismatic performer, with a twinkle in her eye that convinces everyone in her audience that she is sharing a secret with them alone. And her storytelling doesn’t end when the song does. Sharing both the inspiration behind the tunes, and also frequently creating outlandish, irreverent, and humorous monologues, her patter is as important a part of her performances as the songs themselves.
When you request an invitation to one of our events, we, respectfully, ask that you consider it the same level of commitment as when you may have purchased tickets to one of our shows in the past. If you find that, for any reason, you are unable to attend, please inform us as quickly as possible. We realize that we are not asking for your donations in advance, only when you attend the concert, so you have no money invested ahead of the event. But, please be considerate of the touring artists we present who deserve to make as much as possible when they come here to perform as well as folks who may be on a waiting list to attend one of our events. They deserve a chance to see the show if someone ahead of them must cancel.
Thank you very much for your consideration!
About Fiddlers Crossing
On April 17, 2010, Fiddlers Crossing held its opening concert in Tehachapi, CA, with local band, “Geezers on the Loose.” The owners, musicians Peter Cutler and his wife, Deborah Hand-Cutler, wanted a place where people could listen to the best in acoustic music without the clatter of dishes and the whirl of espresso machines. They wanted a place where people could get lost in the music and share a magical evening in an intimate setting. Peter is the engineer for the Folkscene radio program,, and Debby is the owner of Mountain Music, the downtown Tehachapi music store.
Over the years, the venue has gained a world-wide reputation as a premier venue for acoustic music. This is due to the brilliant sound engineering of Peter Cutler, the cozy atmosphere, the snacks and special desserts, and also to the appreciative and enthusiastic Tehachapi audience. The audience members often become big fans of the musicians, who come from all over the world. It’s not uncommon for some to travel long distances to hear their favorites again, and to become friends.
The activities included one or two concerts per month, weekly Wednesday night open mics, and free First Friday showcases featuring local area musicians as well as up-and-coming talents just starting to tour.
Then came March of 2020 and the Covid pandemic. The venue, naturally closed and remained so throughout 2020 and 2021.
Now, as things open up ,Fiddlers Crossing has transitioned from a music venue to a house concert series.
About Owners Peter and Debby
As owners of Fiddlers Crossing and Mountain Music, Peter Cutler and Deborah Hand-Cutler have become mainstays of the acoustic music scene in Tehachapi.
Peter Cutler, a singer and guitarist, has been the recording engineer for the radio program, “Folkscene,” for 49 years. As part of that work, he has recorded many of the best folk and Americana artists from all over the world. With the passing of the original hosts, Roz and Howard Larman, Peter and Debby have taken an even more active role in the program, joining the Larman’s son Allen, and daughter-in-law Kat. Peter is still engineering, while Debby is now doing some of the interviews. Fiddlers Crossing concerts have been used on the program for several years. Peter now produces, engineers and hosts an online version of the program over FolkMusicNotebook.com, giving Folkscene a world-wide audience.
Deborah Hand-Cutler has been a familiar face in the Tehachapi music scene since the early 1990s. As the owner of Mountain Music, she was responsible for starting two orchestras, the Tehachapi Symphony Orchestra and the Tehachapi POPS orchestra, aka TPOPS. She still plays cello and mountain dulcimer at the store, and also plays bass, tenor banjo, mandola and viola, as well. She was a member of the popular local Celtic band, Paint a Rose. Debby also served on the City Council for 8 years, including a year as Mayor.
Folkscene is a music program established in 1970 featuring recorded music and in studio live performances on KPFK, 90.7 fm, Los Angeles on Sunday evenings from 6:00-8:00 PM. There is also an hour-long version of the program on Folk Music Notebook every Saturday, 6:00pm and 11:00pm Pacific time. Here are some highlights. Enjoy!
Gallery of Artists
Musicians who have performed for the Fiddlers Crossing Concert Series - Click to see the full size picture