Being the second single from his upcoming album The Heart Of, this tune follows Berkman’s theme of healing. “My old friend we meet again / You’ve been left out in the cold coming from the snow,” he sings, greeting the chilly lyrics with the warmth of his voice. The folky guitar and soft beat of the drums lead the listener on the journey alongside Berkman, adding to the connectivity present in his words.
This single follows his previous release, “Alone,” the first song off the upcoming album. The two share a similar acoustic style, both including reflective lyrics on relationships and moving-on. Berkman sings with warmth and assurance on this number: “If you need me I will be close / Just don’t want you to be alone.”
The Nashville-based songsmith has released eight albums since 2008, with his ninth waiting in the wings.
The twelve tracks to come are an expansion on the tone of “My Old Friend,” placing focus on navigating past relationships and loss. Working alongside his friend and co-producer Ron Pope, the album is “a reflection of Berkman’s past, creative process, and the kind of art he seeks to share with the world.”
Honesty and authenticity is important to Berkman, as he says, “I wrote down what it meant to fret, to hope, to shift, to change as we sit in our awkward silences, things we speak, things we omit.” His astute observations serve him well in his songwriting, as he continues to bare his soul with poignancy and effectiveness.
The story behind the album’s creation is one of intrigue, as it wasn’t brought to life at just some average studio.
“In 1969, my grandparents bought a piece of land in southern Michigan with a very big, very old farm house in a state of disrepair. Then, they left it that way,” Berkman remembers. Even as the attic was occupied by bats, its peculiarly high ceilings impressed Berkman. “It sounded much better than it smelled,” he jokingly notes.
When ownership passed to Berkman’s father, he embarked on a mission to revive and rejuvenate the old farmhouse; eventually, the attic was insulated and adorned with pine paneling, and a piano finally found its home on the third floor. This was where the recording journey began. The group he assembled spent four days in the house, cooking and eating meals together, walking the grounds, and making the record.
The Heart Of is slated for release November 10th.