Jefferson Berry’s ‘Dreams of Modern Living’ Out January 27th
Dreams of Modern Living, Jefferson Berry’s first solo album will arrive on January 27. The Urban Acoustic Coalition bandleader has produced an album of guitar and vocals that is centered on stories, tales from “these modern times”. The themes of the good love, the bad love and these days of strange that were on display on Double Deadbolt Logic (2020) and Soon! (2021) by Jefferson Berry & the UAC are given clarity on Dreams of Modern Living. “The songs I’m writing convey stories. As much as I love how these work within the Urban Acoustic Coalition jam band thing, I wanted to create and album where the characters and message stood out.”
Berry’s newest offering has some wild characters. Urban scenes take the listener from the wet-brained street urchin in “Sand in My Shoes” to the actual and potential homeless souls in “Sleeping in Public”. The political actors in the “Ballad of Sammy Rodriguez” and “Locks and Guns” offer commentary on issues of social justice. And for romance, Berry sings of adolescent angst in the Elton John / Bernie Taupin penned “Come Down in Time”, the one-night stand in Ben Arnold’s “Puerto Rico”, and the inevitable demise of one of his own loves in “Rendezvous with Destiny”. “Water in the Well” combines a well-researched tale of the James Gang attack on Jefferson’s great-great grandfather with the guitar stylings of pure folk. In concert, Jefferson’s storytelling between songs adds color to the people and landscapes within his tunes.
Jefferson Berry is a published and cited historian, but after leaving inner-city teaching he decided to go head-long into his music. Following the UAC’s appearance at the Philadelphia Folk Festival in 2022, Berry went to work on two albums: Dreams of Modern Living and the upcoming Prairie Fire (a Jefferson Berry & the UAC Americana record due out in mid-2023).