The Dreaming Fields

The Dreaming Fields

by Matraca Berg Matraca Berg
The Dreaming Fields

The Dreaming Fields

by Matraca Berg Matraca Berg


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Most people know Matraca Berg as an accomplished songwriter who's penned hits for Dusty Springfield, Linda Ronstadt, the Dixie Chicks, Patty Loveless, Deanna Carter, Trisha Yearwood, Gretchen Wilson, and more. Fewer know her as an unclassifiable but utterly classy singer/songwriter and recording artist who issued a handful of of excellent but unclassifiable albums between 1990 and 1997 on RCA and Rising Tide. The Dreaming Fields, issued on the reputable established indie Dualtone, is Berg's first record in 14 years. She wrote or co-wrote everything here. It showcases all of her strengths -- as a songwriter and as a vocalist. It was self-produced and recorded with a small group of friends, who understand the plaintive power in Berg's voice; they empathetically underscore her lyrics with only what is necessary. It's so refreshing to hear guitars -- acoustic, electric and pedal steel --and drums sound like nothing but themselves. The sound here is somewhat reminiscent of Emmylou Harris' Pieces of the Sky in its sonic footprint; its songs are poetry with light and shadow in equal but uneasy balance. Check the lonesome shuffle in "If I Had Wings," with its lilting country gospel undertones and the depth of loneliness in the grain of Berg's voice. The heartbreak in the acoustically framed "You and Tequila" is the Nashville equivalent of Don Henley's, Bernie Leadon's, and Glenn Frey's finest early moments (the comparison is made more poignant because Berg is writing about Hollywood). She evokes total surrender to the thing which is greater than we are: poison love, but her protagonist will survive because she can walk away. The sultry minor-key blues of "Your Husband's Cheating on Us" is a unique perspective on infidelity from the "other woman"'s point of view. The title track is a piano and cello-driven ballad that suggests a modern paean akin to Stephen Foster's "Hard Times Come Again No More." (That's as high a compliment as anyone can pay a 21st century song.) "Fall Again" is a searing, naked love song made all the more powerful because its protagonist is singing to an absent beloved. The late Lowell George would have been proud to sing and play on "Oh Cumberland." "South of Heaven" is the finest antiwar song to come from the Afghanistan/Iraq War era because it refuses to preach. Ultimately, The Dreaming Fields is a deeply moving, gloriously articulated album that should not only reawaken the interest of fans, but should win Berg a multitude of new ones.

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Product Details

Release Date: 05/17/2011
Label: Dualtone Music Group
UPC: 0803020153127
catalogNumber: 1531
Rank: 74805


  1. If I Had Wings
  2. You and Tequila
  3. Racing the Angels
  4. Silver and Glass
  5. Clouds
  6. The Dreaming Fields
  7. Oh Cumberland
  8. Your Husband's Cheating on Us
  9. Fall Again
  10. South of Heaven
  11. A Cold, Rainy Morning in London in June

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Matraca Berg   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Harmonica,Piano,Vocals
Suzy Bogguss   Background Vocals
Richard Bennett   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Mike Brignardello   Upright Bass
John Catchings   Cello
Dan Dugmore   Acoustic Guitar,Pedal Steel Guitar,Lap Steel Guitar
John Gardner   Drums
Jeff Hanna   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
Jim Hoke   Accordion,Keyboards
Doug Lancio   Electric Guitar
Greg Morrow   Drums
Alison Prestwood   Bass
Mike Rojas   Keyboards
Randy Scruggs   Acoustic Guitar
Harry Stinson   Drums
Glenn Worf   Bass
Reese Wynans   Keyboards,Hammond B3
Jonathan Yudkin   Strings
Chris Carmichael   Violin,Viola
Jon Randall Stewart   Acoustic Guitar
Gretchen Peters   Background Vocals
David Henry   Cello
Tim Lauer   Keyboards
Mike Webb   Accordion,Keyboards
Jaime Hanna   Background Vocals
Beau Stapleton   Electric Guitar
Rob McNelly   Electric Guitar
Odessa Jorgenson   Cello
Jessi Alexander Stewart   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Matraca Berg   Composer,Producer
Suzy Bogguss   Composer
Marshall Chapman   Composer
Doug Lancio   Producer
Steve Marcantonio   Engineer
Gary Nicholson   Composer
Sharon Vaughn   Composer
Jonathan Yudkin   String Arrangements
Deana Carter   Composer
Gretchen Peters   Composer
King Williams   Engineer
Gary Harrison   Composer
Kimberly Levitan   Art Direction
Reid Scelza   Engineer,drum programming
Troy Verges   Composer
Jessi Alexander   Composer
Chad Carlson   Engineer
Jill McCorkle   Composer
Mary Steenburgen   Composer

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