Ink

What They've Said

‘Dude N+D is the best band in the hood right now. You guys erupt. Someone told me the I’m a slut vid “Stopped Traffic”…?’
– Morgan (Whitehaus)

” The Nickel & Dime Band has more gravitational pull than the Earth”
TJ Wenzel (Bitch Kitty Studios)

”A great party in the best sense of the word”
Adam Sankowski (The Grown Up Noise)

”They CRUSH it live!”
– Brandon Beaver (Buried Beds, Philly)

“Yr like the f’n real life Muppets, you paint this joyful magical-realist picture of the place you live and the people you know and the beauty of simple deep shit like togetherness and community and belief in the Golden True Heart of All Things and it all comes out so beautiful and conflicted and complete. I really really love it. I got to spent a few hours today listening to the record on repeat and I’m blown away. I agree with you–I think it’s the best stuff I’ve heard from you. Next-level. The synergy with the band is palpable and inspiring. The production is fantastic. I feel lifted. This is art at its best, says me…there are many popular forms that don’t do much for me but you’ve tapped into something really awesome and true here. “Something Breaks My Heart” is a standout, lyrically. Had me damn near in tears walking through midtown this morning.”
-Andrew Toews (Fake Money, NYC)

“These songs and the recordings are so amazing. I want to manage you! Get the word out! You have made me feel like a 19 year old impresario, or Lke A Little Girl! You take the best of Bowie and wrap it up with a big bow. If only he could write your lyrics. I am loving this. I don’t want it to stop!”
– Jason Waddleton (The Haven)

“Ya know what? They have soul. True soul”
– Patricia Sheehan (Burke Distro)

“You were such a major influence on me as a songwriter! But it was you as a performer. I was watching a master on stage those many years ago, watching you turning into characters (Ugliest Man In The World) inspired me beyond myself.”
– Gary Cherone (Extreme, Van Halen)

“Berlin is the consumate front man”
“More true joy onstage as I’ve seen from any live band, ever.”
– Scott McMicken (Dr. Dog)

I don’t remember where I first saw Rick Berlin. But if memory isn’t failing toohard, it was at Jacque’s Cabaret, and it was part of my early rock and roll education.

The bar. The pool table. Six queens. Twelve patrons at tables, drinking cheap beer…and Rick, on stage, playing as passionately to those twelve goddamn people as he would if he were in front of a crowd of 12,000.

He wrote songs that were uncategorizable, the way I did. Part punk, part musical theater, part sentimental sap, part wordplay master. The song “Hate” was always one of my Rick Berlin favorites – straight to the jugular. Delivered with an urgency that mirrored kind of in-head dialogue that actually thinks thoughts like this in the middle of the night, in the middle of mania, in Rick’s too-honest-to-ignore voice, stating: “I HATE EVERYONE/I THINK I MIGHT KILL SOMEONE/I HATE EVERYTHING BUT YOU.”

‘Thank you so much, Rick Berlin, for just fucking existing. You are so awesome. yYu are a fucking inspiration and always will be’
– Amanda Palmer

“I love his performance, his band, his songs. His lyrics have gravitas and  humor, which is a way of saying they are sadly funny. Thanks for inviting me to play with you guys. I loved it!”
– Gordon Gano

‘You guys opened up a new passage in here (points to his heart)’
– Caleb Hannon (14 years old)

‘I wish I had your guts.’
– Lou Reed

‘I think everyone wishes they had your guts, Rick. You are one in infinity’
– JoanAsPoliceWoman

‘I am enjoying the tuneage, Rick. you’ve got range, you know.’
– Joan Anderman

‘ALWAYS ON INSANE IS A FUCKING MASTERPIECE. seriously, the songs are some of your best to date. The music is on point, the lyrics are on point, the fucking vocals are so on point. you get better with age you sexy beast. man o man, rick. unbelievable.’
– Brandon Beaver (Buried Beds, Philly)

‘Always liked I’m A Slut. Hilary and Karaoke are really strong.  Cd
sucks you right in.  Really liking this.  Want to spend more time with
this. Kitchy, Beer Belly, and I’m Jes Sayin – all good as well.  Digging this.’
– Adam Lewis (The Planetary Group)

‘Thanks for sending me WHEN WE WERE KIDS.  So good man. Daddy’s Got a Girlfriend, Leave/Stay, Something Breaks My Heart, Ex Wife, Love My Street – all so good. Watcha Think is the closest thing to a Hit Song as i think you have ever written. So good. So strong.  Great parts.  Wish was further up on the CD or it ended it almost.  So good.’
– Adam Lewis (The Planetary Group)

‘Love this Nickel and Dime stuff. Slut is brilliant, and loved No one can be everything. To Karaoke now. Love the vocal on that one. Sax on I love you in the rain is great. Vocals great and crazy. ‘
– Francesca Reitano

You are the soundtrack of the unsung.
– Stephen McNulty

‘An epic tour de force!’
– Jason Waddleton (The Haven)

“Tremendous show the other night. I could not leave. great new songs. Can’t wait to dig into the recording.” – from release night at the lizard lounge 4/18
– Dennis Brennan

“Hey rick,  one more song from WHEN WE WERE KIDS to go to air this week, i really do play the music i love, it’s a great record that deserves to have every song heard!!”
– Colin Fielding (3INR (96.5 Inner FM), Kangaroo Ground, Vitctoria, Australia)

“Rick – The show on Friday was great. I’m really glad I made it. besides the best I’ve ever heard N&D sound, the whole vibe and camaraderie was great. Your first set in particular sounded so great. First time I really heard all the guitar interplay, really nice. Loved the back up vocals, and, granted, I think I’ve only seen N&D perform with you five or six times, so maybe this is old news, but it seems like you’ve got a unique sound now. It doesn’t feel like a band backing you up. it feels like this early rock n roll, kinda pre-Beatles kinda thing.
Like late fifties early sixties. But your lyrics pull it out of that, its not like you’re singing about who to bring to the sock hop. The interplay of that musical style and your lyrics makes for something compelling, more so then I noticed before. Part of it had to do with the great sound at the Liz I’m sure. Anyway i don’t mean this as any sort of backhanded compliment. I’m sure you guys have been this good for a while and I’m just stumbling upon it.”
– Jeff Chasse

‘Rick—I got the When We Were Kids CD in the mail about two weeks ago (I think you emailed me and got my snail address a while back). I’ve spent some time listening to the record over the last couple weeks and I want to let you know I really love it. A few favorite moments: the verse on Irish Goodbye is killer, I Love My Street is fucking beautiful (and should definitely be the official song of JP), and I love that arching bassline in Leavestay, especially when it comes back down and lands on that F. The record is filled with great moments like that. The lyrics are alternately touching (When We Were Kids) and hilarious (Devil Rat & X-Wife From a Past Life), and it’s clear you’ve got a one hell of a band backing you. Great work!’
– Nathan Fairchild (Allston Pudding)

‘You never cease to amaze me. You have a vibe about who you are that captivates.’
– Micah Sheveloff

‘If my memory serves me well, from the first moment I witnessed Orchestra Luna perform at a private party @ the Cambridge Boat Club oh-so long ago, I was enchanted. And, with each subsequent roll-call over the years right up to the slumdog zillionaires Mr. Berlin romps with now! It’s been an education in True & Total Entertainment. So thankful you’re still plugged into the socket of Life!!’
– Curt Naihersey

'Finally got to watch the videos. I really like them. I think my favorite tune is Badville but I like them all. Tunes sound great and it's always weird for me to hear your voice on new tunes because it's like listening to this continuation of verses from you that I feel like I've been hearing my whole life, so it's a cool thing. Really like the way Sammy's horn playing adds something that's really unique. The parts are simple and sparse but it's just a sound I feel like I never hear on recordings.'
- Matt York

'It was great to see you play too. It was my first time seeing you perform with the full band and you guys totally killed it! What a great band, they really do your material justice and I can't believe that I've never seen you guys before!'
- Thalia Zedek

'In the huge stage of talented New England artists Rick stands out. In the large universe of local stars Berlin is one of the brightest. Four decades into his career, Rick Berlin still tantalizes audiences with his creativity and artistry, and to this day his music is as trend setting and trend breaking as ever.'
- A J Wachtel (The Noise)

'Rick Berlin is a real hero'
- Willie 'Loco' ALexander

'Love the new EP -- and "My Girl Is Gone" made me cry, actually. It's nearly SEVEN years since I had to put down my beloved cat, Memphis at 13 (stomach cancer), and I felt and feel exactly the same way. Just fucking crushing and devastating. I remember having to do an interview for my Globe column the next day and could barely hang in there.....there's a hole still.'
Jonathan Perry (RPM: Jonathan Perry's Life in Analog)

'Great to see you (Jonathan Perry) paying tribute to Rick Berlin, a terrific songwriter and performer, and a caring person. Rick has been such an important part of the Boston and national music scene for decades, and he's a great example of a true artist—motivated by the love of the work and the need to tell stories, to share what he has to offer with the world and make it a better place in the process. Really happy to see this. He motives me to write my own songs more carefully, thoughtfully and artfully.'
Ted Drozdowski

From #NOISE: RICK BERLIN w/ NICKEL & DIME BAND
The Midway, Jamaica Plain, MA, 7/25/17
If we local fans can sit back and reflect on the myriad clubs that we have attended to get our supply of our city’s finest talents, then, for me, The Midway would have to be a Top Ten selection. Never flashy, never indulgent, never condescending – always gritty and welcoming – the real deal. The Midway is very clearly the last really great, classic room in the Boston area, not just a splendid palace of big dreams that just doesn’t happen to strike everyone on earth as being as blinding, shining, abundantly soul enriching as say, for instance, Shangri-la or the Taj Mahal, but hey, what do they know – the Midway is community cool. Jay, Smiley, Dave, Robert, Nick, Lenny – all good-natured gents, thanks always!
Tonight I’m sitting here during their two-week 30th Anniversary marathon awaiting the evening’s headliner, The Nickel & Dime Band w/ Rick Berlin – a major mainstay in the J.P./ Boston community who has entertained local patrons for many many many years in his various musical congregations. The fact that Rick has worked next door at Doyle’s for almost as long brings forth his wry stage comment that applies to both institutions: “You still here???” My answer is: YES! – as long as you remain so prolific and talented, no sweat!
In contrast to the group’s usual driving vim and vigor, everyone is in low-key mode for this special performance featuring a bevy of new tunes from their upcoming album, The Courage of the Lonely. Acoustic guitar/piano (Ricky), djembe (Chris), trombone (Sam) add gentility to the lead guitar (Rob) and bass (Dave) that ably support the charm and chutzpah of their pianist/lead vocalist (Mr. Berlin). Some of the newer tunes should be instant classics, fully enhancing the poignancy and primal thrust of his music: “I Think I…,” “My Fictional Friend from Norway,” “How Can I Let You Go?,” “The Boys at the Bar” – all leave me in quiet awe. In honor of the club’s celebration, Rick assumes a Patti Smith-as-poet pose and recites a tribute to The Midway while the band crawls through a hippie-esque blues jam – very funny! Several songs from past albums are also included – the sensitive “I Love My Street” and “I’m Jes Sayin,” the rowdy “Slut,” and the honorable “Nickel & Dime Song,” sung by Sam. A wonderful and embraceable show – though I’m really not jes sayin’ – here’s to thirty more! (Harry C. Tuniese)

Comments about our set at the 7th Annual JP MUSIC FESTIVAL!

'Loved your band. Loved how Sam (trombone) looks like he just smoked about twenty blunts before taking the stage and the obvious love between him, your guitar players etc. is infectious. I can't believe how amazing Jane looks. Hard to believe that it was thirty years ago I had an 8x10 of her and a poster of Traci Lords next to my bed when I was fifteen.' 

- Matt York (songwriter/musician)

'Re. your set in short I feel you guys killed it. The energy was right on the brink and clearly the band was tight. Definitely was a good dose of Nickel and Dime for me. Possible your band has gotten even better in the last year by your account? From what I'm seeing today I would say yes. Please keep that shit going Rick. Psyched for the new album. I've pre-ordered one from Sam. Looking forward to paying full CD price too!!!!!!!'

- Marc Arsenault (Stone Ground Landscaping)

'You guys ripped it up.  Talk of the town.'

- David Ferris Mueller (musician)