Berlin in Beantown
The name Rick Berlin is well known throughout the East Coast, especially Boston, home base for Rick Berlin and The Nickel and Dime Band. Rick Berlin, whose given name is Richard Kinscherf III, has been rocking Boston for the better part of 4 decades since his debut album that dropped in 1974. With his 15th studio album Always On Insane, Berlin teamed up with other beantown natives, The Nickel And Dime Band.
It is rare to have musical tastes that coincide with someone 30 (or more) years older. The Nickel and Dime Band, who had been playing Live Karaoke in the Boston area for a couple years, came in contact with Rick Berlin after impressing him with their skilled instrumentation. Officially getting together in late 2011, Rick Berlin and The Nickel and Dime Band have collaborated to create an original indie rock groove that transcends age.
Always On Insane quite literally has influences from all music genres from Ska and big-band jazz to contemporary slow jams. Rick Berlin with The Nickel and Dime Band are talented and funny with lyrics that are strange at times but always entertaining. The first track captures the listener’s full attention and before the listener knows, rock-solid rock music has bombarded the eardrums for the better part of an hour. The first track on Always On Insane is “(I’m A) Slut”, and it certainly kick starts the album into a world of insanity mixed with intelligence and balance.
One of the best aspects of Always On Insane is the mixture of 3 excellent guitar players in Ricky Mclean, Rob Manochio, and Jesse Adams-Lukowski. The second track on the album, “No One Can Be Everything”, is a great example of their ability to mix all of the guitars in a way that does not overwhelm the listener. Another track that embodies this style is the fourth track entitled, “Karaoke”, which is interesting as that is how Rick Berlin came to know about The Nickel And Dime Band.
Lastly, Always On Insane adds Ska elements to their traditional contemporary indie sound. Likewise, the fifth track, “I Love You In The Rain” has a heavy horn instrumental that includes the saxophone and the trombone playing awesome ska rhythms. This section has a few solos throughout the album, and it’s a wonderful addition to Rick Berlin’s work history.
Rick Berlin with The Nickel And Dime Band is an awesome collaboration between two Boston heavyweights. Hopefully the band is able to keep releasing great music from the New England area that will resonate nationwide. Always On Insane is defeinitely an album to go get that will not disappoint even the most hardcore rock fans.