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Rick Berlin

Rick Berlin w/the Nickel & Dime Band

Rick Berlin is a Boston treasure.

From Orchestra Luna in 1974 to his current band Nickle & Dime, Rick has pushed musical boundaries with a prodigious volume of songs.

In his latest EP, 7 Songs, he takes us back to the golden days of punk rock at CBGB’s.

“Bowery Bums”


In December I was asked to put together a compilation of Boston artists as a soundtrack for the Boston Music Awards’ celebration.

While no means comprehensive (there are some noticeable absences), it is a cross-section of some of Boston’s finest if not quirkiest musicians over the years, and includes some of the best songs to emanate from this fair city.

As we await the release of new music in 2011, hear the diversified talent that is Boston.

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Boston Music Awards

Willie Loco Alexander- “Mass. Ave.”
Peter Wolf-“Tragedy” featuring Shelby Lynne
Human Sexual Response-“What Does Sex Mean to Me?”
Rick Berlin-“If I Wasn’t Such a Bum”
The Breeders-“Cannonball”
Johnny A-“Sometime Tuesday Morning”
The Cars-“Heartbeat City”
Passion Pit-“The Reeling”
The Modern Lovers-“Roadrunner”
The Real Kids-“All Kindsa Girls”
Belly-“Feed the Tree”
Buffalo Tom-“Sodajerk”
Mission of Burma-Academy Fight Song”
Dropkick Murphys-“Barroom Heros”
Bodega Girls-“She’s Into Black Guys”
The Lyres-“Don’t Give It Up Now”
Chip Rives-“4th and Long”
Mary Lou Lord-“His Latest Flame”
Amanda Palmer-Idioteque”
Casey Desmond-“To Myself”
Bleu-“”Somebody Else”
Aimee Mann-“Dear John”
Throwing Muses-“Green”
Tracy Bonham-“Mother Mother”
Jenny Dee & the Deelinquents-“You’re the Best Thing”
Juliana Hatfield-“Universal Heart-Beat”
Eli “Paperboy” Reed-“Come and Get It”
Morphine-“Honey White”
The Neighborhoods-Prettiest Girl”

Rick Berlin: Free download

Rick Berlin is a journeyman musician. He’s been doing it a long time. He’s experienced the highs and the lows of the music business, particularly the latter. He has plumbed the depths. He’s been hyped, glad-handed, ripped-off, dropped, lied to, sued and abused. He has had moments in the limelight with his early band Orchestra Luna, major-label notoriety, tours with well-known bands and radio airplay. But he has also been forced to regroup, change names, and perform surreptitiously. He’s fronted a variety of bands including Luna, Berlin Airlift, Rick Berlin: The Movie, and the Shelly Winters Project. He now performs solo under his own name.

Rick Berlin is an artist. In spite of all of his trials and tribulations, he continues to create. It would be easy to become disillusioned, but an artist cannot give-up. In the music business, many are called and so few are chosen. But the true musicians persevere. In Rick’s case he must perform and write songs. His day job keeps him afloat, but his soul is alive in his music.

Rick Berlin is a treasure as are all artists who give us new worldviews and experiences. No doubt he would do it differently if he could do it all over again, but he would never trade it in for a world outside of music. Artists like Rick give meaning to our lives and we are blessed that they give so much of themselves.

His new album is entitled Paper Airplane. The characters in his songs can only come from someone who has lived a life and has seen it all, or at least most of it. In this free download from the album, he humourously makes fun of himself and the music industry without a hint of bitterness. Yes, a true artist.

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“If I Wasn’t Such a Bum” by Rick Berlin

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