Al Berard – Incredible Journey


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Release Date – 2015

Label – Old Man Records

Track List

Disc 1

  1. Save Me From Myself
  2. Running
  3. Attakapas Trail
  4. Thank God
  5. Cajun Rock 2 Step
  6. Belle Journee
  7. 2412
  8. Roller Coasting
  9. The Well
  10. Mexico
  11. Life’s Highway

Disc 2

  1. Your Way
  2. Liz’s Song
  3. Steer You Wrong
  4. Twangy Wammy
  5. New Acadians
  6. Ten Years Gone
  7. Why Do I Run Away
  8. Cajun Spanish Eyes
  9. Count On Me
  10. Sandy Hill
  11. Belle
  12. Pentatonic Angels


  • Al Berard –  Guitars, Bass, Vocals
  • Mike Burch – Drums
  • Michael Juan Nunez – Slide Guitar
  • Adrian Huval – Accordion
  • Kyle Herbert – Bass

 Reviewed In OffBeat

Dan Willging (April 2015 Issue)

Just days before Al Berard died unexpectedly in February 2014, he announced to his family that his decades-in-the-making guitar album was finally ready.

Though originally envisioned as a one-disc, 15-track affair, this posthumous incarnation is more of an anthology of sorts spanning two discs and 24 tracks. It presents a different facet to this venerable Cajun fiddler—his love for guitar and a penchant for euphoric melodies, finger-flying runs and cascading chiming interludes (“Pentatonic Angels”). Most tracks are instrumentals with various guitar parts layered in since Berard contended his guitar was his voice.

Guitarist Eric Johnson was unabashedly Berard’s biggest influence, and his presence is felt on several tracks, such as “Running” and “2412.” But there are also pristinely played acoustic passages (“Belle Journee,” ”Sandy Hill”), Latin tapestries (“Mexico”) and celestial compositions like “Cajun Spanish Eyes” with Adrian Huval adding a chill effect on accordion.

Along the way, Berard surprises with a couple of rock covers. Instead of synthesizer and vocals being prominent on A-ha’s “Take on Me,” it’s Berard attacking, chirpy-toned guitar that makes it memorable. Led Zeppelin’s “Ten Years Gone” is also masterfully interpreted on acoustic guitar and mandolin for some spectacular breathtaking moments.

Yet, it’s not only a guitar album, since Berard’s creative studio engineering is also showcased. On “Take on Me,” Berard enlisted his church choir for some glistening background effects. And just because it’s a guitar album doesn’t mean his Cajun identity was overlooked.

Two songs (“Belle,” “Attakapas Trail”) from his group the Basin Brothers are gorgeously reprised while “New Acadians” recounts Le Grand Dérangement. While Berard’s life may have been an incredible journey, did it really have to end this soon?

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