Berkley, Hart, Selis & Twang – BHST

Four friends kick back and recreate the Summer of Love

I’m a big fan of Eve Selis and quite like Berkley-Hart too, but after being led to believe that this was a new album from Eve herself, and not a collaboration, I was initially disappointed even before hearing a note.

So, I was relieved listening to the first track “This is Home”, which is trademark Eve Selis. It not only features a duet with Calman Hart but their harmonies are terrifically sun-soaked.

Jeff Berkley, Calman Hart, Eve Selis, and Marc Twang have been close friends for years now, often touring together. During early 2013, someone had the bright idea to write a song together. The songs worked extremely well when the foursome all contributed to the construction, and the album was a logical conclusion.

With Berkley and Hart’s rich voices supporting her, Selis has the freedom to express and challenge herself on the duets with Hart — “If I Lost You”, “California Mountain Time”, “Tomorrow on My Mind”, and “Burning Light”. The album springs into life, with Eve’s voice never sounding finer.

As expected, if you know the people involved, there are a couple of (soft) rockers here with Berkley-Hart belting out “Delilah”, using the Bible story as a metaphor for a man’s emasculation in a relationship. The trio of Selis, Hart, and Twang singing “Long Road Back to Love” is simply spellbinding and promises to be a highlight of the forthcoming U.K. tour.

My favourite song, and one that will raise a smile from every parent who hears it, is a Berkley-Hart song, with Selis and Twang providing luscious harmonies — “Lets Go Out Drinking Tonight”. It has a kicking chorus and a honky-tonk melody to die for.

“Oh Washington!” stands apart from the others, which I was surprised to find tucked away in the middle of the album. It has all the hallmarks of a powerful last song of the night. Opening with a Dylanesque harmonica solo, Berkley fronts the quartet as they poke professional politicians with a very pointy stick. The lyrics are so barbed, they could have been cribbed by Crosby, Stills, Nash or Young’s homework books. This is a song worthy of national radio play, but I doubt anyone will have the courage to play it.

Yes, BHST hark back to the halcyon days of Laurel Canyon and the West Coast “sound”, but they do it with a new found “edge” and it sounds as fresh as a daisy.

Released July 21st 2014

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