GREAT BIG HOUSE

OUR 5TH RECORD IN A DECADE, AND, IN MY OPINION, OUR BEST.


(4 NEW VIDEOS)

Cast

Rob Manochio (guitars)

Ricky McLean (guitar, vox)

Chris Antonowich (kit)

David Goodchild (bass/standup bass)

Sam Dudley (trombone, vox)

Zach Olson (sax, vox)

Jane Mangini (keys, synths)

Berlin (vox)


Studios

Bitch Kitty (mixing/overdubs)

TJ Wenzl (engineer)

Zippah Recording Studios

Miranda Serra (engineer)

Produced by - TJ Wenzl w/ the band

Mastering - Zippah Studios - Brian Charles

In partnership with:

WIREFOREST,LLC (Walter Sickert & The Army of Toys)

Drawings: Jake Walker

Font: Jess Murtha

Design: Nick Kent

Songs: Berlin

Lobsterland Publishing/ASCAP

berlinrick.com

Special thanks: Tom Stepsis

Songs (a double CD)

Great Big House

I Remember Everything

Nobody Home

High School Dropout

Unknown Soldier

Song for Amy Winehouse

Senseless

Hula Girl

10 Minutes Away

Maggie

Do You Still Love Me?

7 Eleven Cookbook Song

Last2Know

Yr An Artist

Note: Soon to come: VINYL!! on Light Of Day Pop Up Records.

 
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GREAT BIG HOUSE is Rick Berlin w/ THE NICKEL & DIME BAND’s 5th record in a decade. Our most coherent and multi-genre (hard rock, americana, pop, singer-songwriter, crazy) ever. I was going to include a parenthetical under the title which might have read: Sgt Pepper in Hyde Square, JP,  but I’ve changed that to read: Orchestra Luna - my first band ever - in Hyde Square, JP. Partly because of the big-hearted vibe this band puts out and as it reminds me of the early innocence of Orchestra Luna, although we’ve grown up differently and the record has no actual orchestra. It does cover many bases musically and is fully produced without sounding processed. To a great extent, all the songs are true and come from lives lived. Lastly, the trombonist’s mom, my sister Lisa, was in Orchestra Luna so with my nephew, Sam, playing with us, it’s a full circle.

Rick Berlin (Wikipedia)

What’s been said prior to release:

I'm really loving this record...it's pure genius! ...it’s seeping into my bloodstream. Brian Charles: Zippah Studios/The Sheila Divine

A rich collection of unfeigned and stubbornly optimistic songs. Rick Berlin’s family, friends, idols, and lovers become ours, in fifteen 3-6 minute chapters. His songwriting and storytelling is simply excellent (what is his secret?) This is also a noticeably great sounding record, leaning far more to the ‘UK’ than anything I can remember Rick singing on. Maybe it’s the guitar, which takes a starring role, or the cool tight vocal arrangements, but this record sounds strongly Townshend or Bowie, and occasionally Thompson, at least just before the horns come back in, clearly marking this as Boston proper. Meticulously produced, and full of love, sadness, and poignancy, this has to be one of the records of the year. Shaun Wolf Wortis: about

Rick Berlin is the Mayor of Jamaica Plain and the Eccentric Uncle of Boston Rock ‘n Roll. All that’s just well and fine. But is his new record any good? You bet your crazy ass it is, bucko! Berlin’s signature knack for pulling universal themes out of urban bohemia remains sharp as ever on Great Big House -- his fourth offering alongside the ragtag Nickel and Dime Band. I’ve gotta assume a 2 a.m. trip to one of the Centre Street 7-Elevens inspired “The 7 Eleven Cookbook Song,” but it’s an anthem for scrounging post-bender munchies at all convenience stores at all locations across the galaxy. Likewise, “Yer An Artist” describes anyone who’s ever moved to a new town to pursue matters of passion and impracticality. Plenty of artists do nostalgic love songs, and so does Berlin, but I don’t know how many others can muster sincere, wistful anguish for a tragic celebrity they’ve never met, like he does with “Song For Amy Winehouse.” Most impressively of all — every song on Great Big House would sound totally appropriate at the scummiest, sleaziest rock club you can imagine, and at a family-friendly outdoor festival with many children present. Rick Berlin w/ the Nickel & Dime Band make writing songs like that sound easy, but it’s actually insanely difficult. Barry Thompson: The Boston Herald

Rick Berlin has been a favorite Artist of mine for decades because he will always go where most artists fear to tread . you can depend on Rick for Heart & Soul & what is True . & plenty of Sonic Surprise from his Nickel & Dime Band. We are lucky to have him here in Boston . Willie ‘Loco’ Alexander: about Willie in WIkipedia

The Nickel and Dime record, GREAT BIG HOUSE, is classic Rick Berlin, an artist who’s journey I have followed and admired for some time. The songs are all interesting, a mix of subtleties and energy that are hallmark Berlin all the way. I devoured the tracks Great Big House, I Remember Everything (my fave), Song for Amy Winehouse and really the whole record. Berlin is a fearless artist and an unstoppable force writing heartfelt songs that take the listener on the ride of lifetime…I love it. Micah Sheveloff: Songwriter

From lustful ballads to robust rockers, it's always a party at Rick Berlin's Great Big House. Great stuff. If I was still on The Late Riser's Club, I'd make Hula Girl a daily staple. Henry Santoro: Lover of music and News Anchor & Host at 89.7, WGBH Boston

Great Big House, Nickel and Dime Band with Rick Berlin: Being on the Boston music scene is a very intimate affair. Everyone knows everyone, goes to their shows, drinks at the same bars, and loves the spirit that conjures community. Rick Berlin has been at this game for a long time (I’ll demur to say how long!) as a troubadour of sorts, a cabaret chanteuse, a band leader, and above all a writer of songs. In the title song, Great Big House, Rick extolls the ordinary of our lives as we come together in neighborhoods. With big band sound, Rick belts out his homilies to bad boys, local goddesses, old loves lost, aging, and his own very personal questions in ‘Do You Still Love Me’ and ‘I Remember Everything.’ This is a full production album of 14 Songs. The band - Jane Mangini (keys/vox), Sam Dudley (trombone/vox), Zach Olson (sax), Ricky McLean (guitar,/harmonica,/vox), Rob Manochio (guitar/mandolin), David Goodchild (bass), Chris Antonowich (kit/percussion) is consummate. They play so well together. Rick’s voice is powerful and authentic. Of course, cuz he’s a professional! Having lived in JP for a long time myself, I know what a huge impact Rick has had on the music community there having founded the JP Music Festival. Rick has also been a waiter at Doyle’s, one of his networking hubs. As the place seems to be closing, that will tear at the fabric he has woven. I do hope Rick will find ways to carry on in his vital roll as Master of Ceremonies! Jane Hudson: Video artist, musician, The Music Museum Of New England with her husband, Jeff

Thanks for sending me the new record, you continue to write with great lyrical insight and your chords and melodies are incredibly catchy. Anyone who has not yet had the pleasure to listening to your music/production have a treat in store with this new offering. Highlights for me are "10 Minutes Away"....."ride your bike across the silver moon"!!!!! "Great Big House", "Hula Girl" (great groove and bass line), "Do You Still Love Me", and "The 7 Eleven Cook Book Song". Rick Berlin is a gift to music!!!!!!!! PS Love the HULA GIRL video. Such fun for the participants and the audience. Bill Pfordresher: former Elektra A&R exec., producer of Berlin Airlift, about, Undersongs, voting member of the Grammy Awards

Bill adds: Rick, radio is not what it used to be. The days of Mom and Pop radio stations are gone. When Clinton was in office he passed a bill that allowed large conglomerates to own over 50% of the radio airways in any specific market, undercutting what the FCC and the rules of no monopolies. So big business now runs all of the major markets and ONE person oversees up to 6 stations. Hence iheart, Cox, Cumulus, Emmis, Bonneville, Entercom etc. have bought up all of the stations that used to start records, and they program them with the top media base played songs. Little chance of stepping out on a new group, or song. There are a handful of stations in each format that still do exist, but they are controlled by pay for play Indies and play new songs in overnights. If you are curious about all this check out. allaccess.com It is run by Joel Denver who was in radio and used to work at Radio and Records. It is a radio website and you can get a feel about what is still going on. Joel is a dear friend, and if you get any ideas from what you see there, please let me know. I realize the frustration we all go through with our own music, wanting the rest of the world to hear it!!!! And if anyone deserves that, you do.

Inspired to hear Rick Berlin, with his lavish vocals textured by age and experience, continue to grace us with a quirky, compassionate view of life. I saw the video a while back when he first posted it. Memories of the various incarnations of his musical life and the inclusive big house it has always been. I had fun looking at the old CBGB’s videos and love the newer song about falling in love with the crazy one. Love the old crone singing at the piano with the youngsters bopping along. Spectacular trombone. Tracey Roach: WBCN jock back in the day.

Once again Rick Berlin surrounds himself with the talent of the Nickel & Dime Band to turn his quirky stories into epics, ripping good times, and anthems. With its 14 tracks, “Great Big House” is crunchy and clear, romping rhythm, big boy guitar, a chorus of horns, and Jane Mangini’s lush keyboards cascading from top to bottom. Listen to it for Berlin's taudry Tennessee Williams jive, the kick ass beat, the classic guitar, or the explosive emotions. It’s all there, songs for sailors, music for people who want to feel something. Billie Best: blogger, author, farmer, manager of crazies

I am only a few songs in listening to the album. I have to say there was some magic going on in the studio. Tinker bells galore. So much character and texture. Rick, you have quite a band! Even Ricky McLean’s screams have become musical. Love Last2Know. Robby nails it! And Yr An Artist tickles my heart. There is some memorable bass on a few tracks also. All around the music keeps getting better. Amazing nuances with keyboards, synth and horns. Margie Nicoll: artist, photographer, singer, poet, publisher

For fans of Rick Berlin’s long musical career, Great Big House is a great example of what has always made him such a great songwriter. The guitar riffs remind me of some of his early work with Berlin Airlift, the harmonies and keys remind of some the songs that he did with Rick Berlin – The Movie. However, what really makes this song work, are the lyrics and energy that Rick and the band bring to this tune. The story, about his own awesome collections of friends and neighbors in J.P., is told with such clarity, that you feel like you are in the house with him and his friends. Matt York: Songwriter

Here's the deal on this album. Ageless rock and roll abandon in Rick Berlin's vocals. Humor, pathos, joy, and that edgy recklessness in his lyrics. All bound up in the best possible way with the intensely engaging musicality of the Nickel & Dime Band. Yeah, Berlin, Yer An Artist alright. And a treasure of the Boston music scene. Beth Harrington: filmmaker, documentarian, musician, back up singer in The Modern Lovers

Rick’s tasteful way of reinventing his style is inspiring. It is always a gift to get new material from him. The writing and lyricism of The Nickel & Dime Band is unique and after listening to “Great Big House” I feel at home in a wonderful community, where everyone is happy and helps each other. Their new album is a splendid addition to the discography and legacy of Rick Berlin. An icon to me personally and the community. Baxter Hall: Guitarist/Singer-Songwriter

There’s a tenderness in the eccentricity of this album, and a lot of love and humor in the small, personal details of the songwriting. I appreciate how eclectic the songs are, genre-wise - from new wave, angular guitars, to piano ballads, to stadium anthems, sometimes all within the same song! And then, there's my favorite, a rousing song about late night snacks from 7-1. Stevie Weinstein-Foner: songwriter

The band was a lot of fun. Rick is like some amazing combo of David Byrne, Neil Young, and Fred Schneider. Chris Antonowich’s friend Bill

TJ (our engineer/producer) is the G.O.A.T. Jane Mangini: The Transiberian Orchestra

It’s beautiful. I’m blown away. What I just heard captures the essence of it. It’s really great work. And Hi5’s to the 5/10 crew! Brian McCaffrey: - Teenage Heart Records

This is gonna be an epic record. Edrie (Walter Sickert & The Army Of Toys, WIREFOREST)

Love this song (Great Big House) Rick! Thanks for sending out into the world. Glad you're still out there making a lot of noise! Andrew Zamore

absofuckinglutely wonderful record! Alec Creighton: poet

Tell Maggie 46 people in Alaska have watched her Birthday present/song video!! Veronica Page: singer

…like it? WE LOVE IT! You should be proud - so embraceably YOU!! Filled with band, family, friends & fans which continually creates and completes Mr. Berlin 2019…Just another salute to your open heart. GBHouse is filled with the same. Nice editing of the video! Keep cranking them out, sir! Donna and Curt: songwriters and musicians

GREAT BIG HOUSE is great work from my friend Rick Berlin. Cool music, fun videos, fabulous sentiment. Makes you feel good about the world. Billie Best: author, blogger

Beautiful, joyous JP. This will be my new go-to to cheer me up. I LOVE THIS I LOVE THIS I LOVE THIS! You are amazing at capturing how it feels to be a part of JP. Kelly Ransom: Communications Mgr at Madison Park Development Corporation, Event Planner/Coordinator at Latin World’s Fair

Can’t believe all the tiny details. No wonder it took so long. Need to watch more time to catch it all. Jane Clark: my sister

Feels like the inside of my head. Congratulations! Steve Witty: author

Awesome. I love it! Peter Rinnig: QRST T-Shirts

I love this song/video! Patricia Brown: waitress, mom, friend

Awesome! Beth Troisi: artist, collector, chef

The newest and bestest from the Mayor of JP! Phil Wilcox: record store mgr at Tres Gatos, musician, singer

These songs make me nostalgsick. I loved it. Noah Scanlon: musician, songwriter.

LOVE IT! Song and video. Especially the Ornette Coleman moment in the middle and the Doyles singalong at the end. How on earth do you find the time and energy to get projects like this done, I’ll never know. You continue to inspire me! David Featherman: bassist