Writer Player, Keen Observer, Performer
VERY SHORT BIO
Singer-songwriter, performer and keen observer, Marc Douglas Berardo's songs are sharply drawn and cast a net on unusual and beguiling characters and places. His songs have been recognized at many prestigious national festivals and events such as The South Florida Folk Festival, The Wildflower Art and Music Festival, and the legendary Kerrville Folk Festival. For over thirty years MDB has performed thousands of shows big and small including nights with The Doobie Brothers, Little Feat, John Hiatt, Martin Sexton, Livingston Taylor, Kevin Welch, Red Molly, Guy Clark and late David Olney among others. Berardo's interview and live performance featured on the Sirius/ XM Satellite Radio show The Village was voted one of the best of the year by listeners. No Depression Magazine called his last CD Whalebone: “sincere, fluid, charming and above all gripping.”
Singer-songwriter, performer, and keen observer, Marc Douglas Berardo composes songs that mine the deep feelings and lessons gleaned from real-life characters and situations along with an onstage presence that uses humor and deft storytelling to rally an audience and lead them into a deep and almost spiritual experience. It’s an adventure that brings to mind James Taylor, Jimmy Buffett, Guy Clark, or Steely Dan with a touch of Mark Twain or Hunter S. Thompson for good measure. An MDB show is a night of laughter and emotion that works to send an audience home with a renewed sense of possibility. No Depression Magazine called his last CD Whalebone: “sincere, fluid, charming and above all gripping.”
Berardo’s first music show was in a biker bar in Allston, MA in 1987 since that day he has never stopped performing made-up songs. He has opened for the stage with heavyweights such as The Doobie Brothers, The Pousette Dart Band, Jimmy Lafave, Martin Sexton, 10,000 Maniacs, Red Molly, John Hiatt, The New Riders of the Purple Sage, The Buffalo Springfield, Kevin Welch, Lucy Kaplansky, Eric Taylor, David Olney, Kim Richey, Will Kimbrough, and Livingston Taylor. As a member of Chris Berardo and The DesBerardo Band with his brother Chris, Marc has been a part of shows with classic rock acts including Little Feat, The Marshall Tucker Band, Foreigner, Badfinger, Reckless Kelly, America, David Allen Coe, Levon Helm, Dickey Betts, and Great Southern and others.
In May of 2014, Berardo won the 2014 Wildflower Art and Music Festival Song Contest in Texas. The following week he performed as a finalist in the legendary Kerrville New Folk Contest at the Kerrville Folk Festival. In early 2015, Berardo's interview and live performance feature on Sirius/ XM Satellite Radio show, The Village was voted one of the best of the year by listeners. Berardo was nominated as Best Americana Vocalist by readers of Motif Magazine in early 2017. In 2023 the Rhode Island Music Awards nominated him as Best Singer-Songwriter. He has been nationally recognized for his music and performances (Rocky Mountain Folks Fest Song contest, Telluride Troubadour Contest, Sisters Folk Festival, 2013 Rams Head Onstage Rammie for Best Show of the Year.)
Singer-songwriter, performer, and keen observer, Marc Douglas Berardo composes songs that mine the deep feelings and lessons gleaned from real-life characters and situations along with an onstage presence that uses humor and deft storytelling to rally an audience and lead them into a deep and almost spiritual experience. It’s an adventure that brings to mind James Taylor, Jimmy Buffett, Guy Clark, or Steely Dan with a touch of Mark Twain or Hunter S. Thompson for good measure. Attendance at one of his performances is a night of laughter and emotion that works to send an audience home with a renewed sense of possibility. No Depression Magazine called his latest CD Whalebone: “sincere, fluid, charming and above all gripping.”
In what amounts to song-length works of fiction, Berardo’s sharply drawn, award winning song portraits cast a net on unusual and beguiling characters and places. With a painter’s eye for detail, and music firmly rooted in the great American sound, Berardo sings about circus retirees, expatriates in Florida rum bars, union ironworkers, old poets, aimless New York City debutantes, near-death car crashes, hard-nosed fishermen, and of course, the changes that experience brings to everyone. He does this “simply and well” with what Rambles Cultural Magazine calls: “careful images and great tunes”.
"I try to write about people and situations that interest and entertain me. Subjects and places that I feel a connection with and that are unique in a quiet way. Real people and places caught in the moment, almost like a documentary film or a novel. At the same time, I need the music itself to take me somewhere…to make me feel something. The words have to sing and the music has to work. The kind of song that does those things is my idea of a good time.” - MDB
Berardo's people settled in Rye, NY. He is listed as a "notable alumni" of The Iona Preparatory, New Rochelle, NY along with some other accomplished and colorful attendees including Don Mclean (American Pie, Vincent), Frank Mara (Co-Owner of The NY Giants), Frank Abagnale (Bank fraud perpetrator and subject of the film Catch Me If You Can) and actor Bud Cort (Harold and Maude). After a failed attempt at college at Boston's Northeastern University (where he learned to play guitar and performed publicly for the first time), Berardo hightailed it to Florida where he eventually earned a BA in English and Creative Writing.
"I was not as interested in going to class, so, after contemplating a Hertz Rent a Car map of Florida that was hanging on my wall in my cold apartment in Allston, I took off south in search of a place that I could sing, play and lay in the sun. I ended up in the ocean town of St Augustine, Florida and on my first day there I wandered up the long stairs to a very special music venue named the Milltop Tavern and Listening Room. The first music I heard was from songwriter and Florida legend, Don Oja Dunaway. I hung around the Milltop for months listening to songwriters and trying to figure out how to make up my own songs. When I finally worked up the nerve, I played my earliest attempts for Don Dunaway and he gave me a job singing twice a week in the club. It was a big deal and a real break. The great songwriters that passed through town were fascinating and inspiring characters. From my point of view, it looked like songwriting and performing as a profession was a noble pursuit and a club. It was a big deal and a real break. The great songwriters that passed through town were fascinating and inspiring characters. From my point of view, it looked like songwriting and performing as a profession was a noble pursuit and a club that I wanted to belong to. I have never stopped since then. In truth, it has felt like one long day since that time. " - MDB quote from a Boston Voyager Interview
Berardo's first gig was playing for an empty room in Allston, MA in 1987. Since that day MDB has never stopped singing made-up songs, performing an average of 150 nights a year everywhere from bars and coffeehouses to theaters and national festivals and venues such as The legendary Towne Crier Cafe (NY), Narrows Center for the Arts (MA), The Fairfield Performing Arts Center (CT), Tupelo Music Hall (NH), The Bluebird Café (TN), Snapple Sunset Concert Series (RI), The Emelin Theater (NY), The Hamilton (DC), Mile High Concerts (CO), The Opening Bell (TX), Caffe Lena (NY), The Mansion on O St (DC), Zelda's (CA), The Freight and Salvage (CA), The Ramshead Onstage (MD), The Katherine Hepburn Theater (CT), Jonathan's (ME), The Evening Muse (NC), The Wildflower Art and Music Festival (TX), The Historic Cooper House (MD), The Living Room (NY), Hard Rock Cafe (MA), Anderson Fair (TX), Fiddler's Dream (AZ), Smokin’ Tuna (FL), St Anne's Chapel in Vatican City, Italy.
Along the way he has shared the stage with a variety of national acts including The Doobie Brothers, Peter Rowan, NRBQ, Guy Clark, Vassar Clements, Ralph Stanley, blues legend Chris Smither, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members The Buffalo Springfield, Brooks Williams, Martin Sexton, Kim Richey, Amy Speace, Buddy Mondlock, Norman Blake (Oh Brother Soundtrack), Steve Forbert, Mustard's Retreat, Justin Townes Earle, Eric Anderson, The New Riders of the Purple Sage, Red Molly, Garnet Rogers, Eilen Jewell Band, Greg Trooper, Cliff Eberhardt, Ruthie Foster, Cheryl Wheeler, Lucy Kaplansky, Livingston Taylor, Catie Curtis, Kate Taylor, The Pousette-Dart Band, Kevin Welch, Eric Taylor, Will Kimbrough, Kenny White, David Olney, The Kennedys, Eric Taylor, Jimmy LaFave, and John Hiatt among others.
As a member of The DesBerardo Band with his brother Chris, Marc has been a part of shows with classic rock acts including Little Feat, America, Foreigner, The Marshall Tucker Band, Badfinger, David Allen Coe, Levon Helm, Dickey Betts, and Great Southern, Reckless Kelly, and others. In recent years Marc has participated in several well-regarded song workshops and performance excursions in exotic locations including Costa Rica, Islamorada, and Bimini, Bahamas.
Berardo's fifth CD entitled WHALEBONE was released in Sept 2013. Recorded in NYC, Woodstock, NY, and rural Connecticut and produced by Brother Chris Berardo, Whalebone is a supremely crafted collection of songs about change, reemergence, strength, and survival. Guests include the legendary Jon Pousette-Dart (The Pousette-Dart Band), Abbie Gardner (Red Molly), Lincoln Schleifer (Rosanne Cash, Richard Shindell, and The Allman Brothers Band, Gov’t Mule, Donald Fagen). No Depression Magazine called Whalebone: "a highly polished personal collection with songs that are on the delicate trapeze of poignancy.”
In May of 2014, Berardo won the coveted Michael Terry’s People’s Choice Award at the 2014 Wildflower Art and Music Festival Song Contest in Texas. The following week he performed as a finalist in the legendary Kerrville New Folk Contest at the Kerrville Folk Festival. In early 2015, Berardo's feature appearance on Sirius/ XM Satellite Radio show was voted one of the best of the year by listeners. Berardo was nominated as "Best Americana Vocalist" by the readers of Motif Magazine in early 2017. In 2023 the Rhode Island Music Awards nominated him as Best Singer-Songwriter. He has been nationally recognized for his music and performances (Rocky Mountain Folks Fest Song contest, Telluride Troubadour Contest, Sisters Folk Festival, 2013 Rams Head Onstage Rammie for Show of the Year).
Awards and Recognition
2017 Nominee Best Male Americana Singer-Motif Magazine
2015 Finalist South Florida Folk Festival, FL
2015 DJ "Top 10 best of" Year End Pick- The Village -XM/Sirius Radio
2014 Kerrville New Folk Finalist, TX
2014 Winner Wildflower Arts and Music Festival, TX
2014 Solar Fest Showcase, Tinmouth, VT
2013 "Rammie" Award-Show of the Year with Bob Sima, Rams Head Onstage, MD
2011 Nominee-Best Male Vocalist-Motif Magazine
2010 Finalist-Sisters Folk Festival-Sisters, OR
2010 Honorable Mention-Rocky Mt Folks Fest-Lyons, CO
2010 Honorable Mention-Telluride Troubadour Contest, CO
2007 Tri-Centric Showcase Artist Northeast Regional Folk Alliance
2007 Finalist-Plowshares Song Contest, PA
2006 Finalist-Rocky Mountain Folks Festival, CO
2006 Honorable Mention-Telluride Troubadour Contest, CO
2006 Finalist-Wildflower Arts and Music Festival, TX
2006 Finalist-Suwannee Springfest Song Contest, FL
2005 Mid-Atlantic Song Association-Contest Award, VA
2005 Finalist -Plowshares Song Contest, PA
2004-2005-2006 ASCAP Song Award
2004 Just Plain Folks Music Award Nominee, Los Angeles, CA
2004 Finalist -Plowshares Song Contest, PA
2003 Finalist- Rose Garden Song Contest, MA
2001 New Artist Showcase- Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, NY
2000 Winner- Suwannee Springfest Song Contest, FL
1989 Employee of the Month-Crab Shanty, Mamaroneck, NY
Press Quotes and Mentions
"Berardo takes you to a place within yourself to make changes you want to see in the world." Mary Sue Twohy, The Village, Sirius/XM Radio
“Favorite guitar riffs, proper intonation, insightful lyrics and a burning sensation in the chest inspiring the hope that everything will be fine. The melody is pleasant and contains a semantic message about important changes in a person's life.” Nagamag.com
"Inviting scenes of rooftop acoustic guitar playing in gentle sunlight, the video (Waiting on a Brand New Day) enhances the thrilling feel of the song as we all wait for a brand new day. Berardo sings of connection and love in his songs of hope and openness. " Melissa Clarke, Americana Highways
"Marc Douglas's Latest single is called "The Hard Part" and it's easy on the ears, bursting with hopeful lyrics as a piano dances across guitar and percussion" Aimsel Ponti, Press Herald, Portland, ME
“Bravery. The new song “The Hard Part” from Marc Douglas Berardo forthcoming album inspires you to be brave in the darkest time. With a folk-rock groove, he takes you to a place within yourself to make changes you want to see in the world. Compassion is one of Berardo’s superpower ingredients in his songwriting.” MarySue Twohy, SiriusXM Program Director, SiriusXM Satellite Radio
"This realistic and optimistic new single from Marc Douglas Berardo questions the hard parts of life and the hope that we will not only face difficulties but to find the ability to surpass. “The Hard Part” is certainly a song for our era. Bruce Swan, Programmer / Host , Asheville FM 103.3
"Marc Douglas Berardo writes songs that are witty without being superficial, intelligent without being ponderous, fun without being silly. He performs them with an infectious verve. On top of that, he doesn¹t seem to have the slightest idea of just how good he is.” David Olney, Songwriter and Performer, Nashville, TN
"High quality story-telling picking and playing." Rob Ellen - The Medicine Show Radio Moose Mobile, U.K.
“Marc is my kind of songwriter: thoughtful but not overwrought, smart but not overly clever. Great language. He can get to the point, and he tells a good story. He’s got a Big, open heart for characters, and real people Trying to make it in this world. His songs often have cool surprises. He is a performer of the first order.” Walt Wilkins, Waltstock, Walt Wilkins and The Mystiqueros
"Marc Douglas Berardo's newest CD WHALEBONE, will surely turn new fans on to his music. Berardo's songs are musical narratives with the feel of acoustic Springsteen, and Tom Waits or James Taylor, with a sunny Grateful Dead bounce and Buffet-esque subjects. You will want to own this one." The Roots Report, Motif Magazine
“Whalebone is a highly polished personal collection in the tradition of many clever songwriters of the past that forged songs like short stories. These songs are on the delicate trapeze of poignancy with suave rhythms, cool as an icy summer drink back-up vocals, lots of presence and personality. A little water with the whiskey so to speak -- but, not watered down. No, not watered-down at all. The performances are sincere, fluid, charming and above all gripping.” John Apice , No Depression Magazine
"Your new CD is killer. I don't often spontaneously reach out to an artist after the first hearing but Downhauler blew me away. What a great collection of songs!" John Platt, WFUV FM, NY.
"There are few things more delightful than discovering a talented singer/songwriter. I stumbled onto Marc Douglas Berardo's disc Harbor and ended up doing him a disservice... I was so enamored it lived in my truck for well over a month before I cataloged it and took it into the Folk Show library at WPSU here in Central Pennsylvania. You can almost smell the salt air and feel the cracked, weathered wood of a ramshackle pier beneath your deck shoes when Marc sings these songs, rich with the hardships, triumphs and tragedies of the locals in the harbor town he now calls home. Hurricanes, Portuguese fisherman, fried fish houses, Kennedys and kings abound. Driven by Marc's smooth voice and fluid, melodic guitar work, the songs crackle with life and emotion. I find myself most often, though, returning to the gentle hope and optimism of one of my favorite cuts, "Take it Along;" …take it along/give a little bit away/do something real and feel something every day…" Plain and simple, this disc moves me. Highly recommended - one of my most-listened to discs of 2006 and, so far, of 2007." Jim Colbert, The Folk Show, WPSU-FM, PA.
"Marc Douglas Berardo's songs are like a day at the beach, filled with sensual images of beautiful sights, warm breezes, salty ocean spray. Dig under the surface and you'll find cool dark sand waiting to be brought to the surface and swept out to sea. He reminds me of Don Henley or John Smith." Lee Larcheveque , Host of The Acoustic Cafe 91.1 FM WMUA UMass- Amherst, MA
"Marc's music is like a warm breeze in March when hopes are high for a thaw...his knack for hooking a phrase and defining melodies keeps your auditory canal perked." Steven J. Athanas-Toledo City Paper, Best Of 2003-OH.
"Marc Douglas Berardo writes thoughtful ballads that explore the rough spots of everyday life. He has an eye for unusual and interesting song topics. “The Rum Diary” imagines Hunter S. Thompson's wasted artiste “shadowboxing the muse” in a richly described island landscape. The laid-back musical setting drifts off like a raft towards the horizon. On “As You Make Your Way”, Berardo shows that determination can pay off.” Danielle Dreilinger, Northeast Performer Magazine
"We recorded our 343rd radio show in the "In The Music Room" series - it was one of our best as we introduce you to Marc Douglas Berardo & Grace Morrison, hailing from Rhode Island and Massachusetts respectively - enjoy one of my favorite shows in a long time.” Randy Tredway, In The Music Room, Waxahachie, TX.
“Marc Douglas Berardo always captivates the room from the first note to the final bow. His ability to have an audience crying one minute and laughing the next defines his artistry as a songwriter, but the real evidence of his skill as an entertainer is that people leave his shows with stacks of CDs, asking when he’ll be back.” Mile High Music, CO,
"Marc Douglas Berardo brings positive energy to all his performances. As a musician, songwriter and entertainer, I rank him with some of the best. I'm a big fan, and always look forward to hearing him." Phil Ciganer, Towne Crier Cafe, Beacon, NY
"So great to see you last night!!! We so needed that!!! Wow!!! you looked great, sounded incredible!! I kept looking behind us, thinking you were performing to 40,000 people !! Thank you for that." Andrew Wallach - Black Sheep House Concerts, Hamden, CT.
"Berardo collects song awards like some people collect stamps." MarySue Twohy, The Village, Sirius/XM Radio
"Whalebone is a confirmation of a true talent and an amazing artist." Remo Ricaldone, Long Journey Magazine, Italy
"This soulful singer-songwriter with the gritty edge offers a solid collection of originals with an interesting look at life, from ruminations about a relationship ("Our Troubles") to a poignant story about a counter-culture character named "Lightning," always with his acoustic guitar at the center and a full band on these rock/folk songs." Jamie Anderson-Minor Seventh
"Berardo has a magical way of bringing you into the story. You don't want the song to end." Jane Falvey, Host, Kingston Coffeehouse, WRIU-FM
"Berardo sounds like a fishing-town Bruce Springsteen (in Nebraska mode), a soft-toned Don Henley, or a James Taylor with a literary side. The comparisons to singer-songwriter greats are infinite. They're also apt." Fairfield County Weekly, CT.
"Stunning, sharply drawn song portraits." The Boston Phoenix
"Downhauler's sound has an affinity with the Californian folk-rock of the 1970's. The CD targets a mature audience. Narrative simplicity in the best sense of the word." Johnny's Garden Magazine, Netherlands
"Berardo drops a gem with DOWNHAULER! He is back from his travels with a cargo hold full of treasure. Like Hemingway, he draws his characters with pithy phrases." More Sugar Magazine
"I love this. Every once in a while, a great CD falls into my lap and I love it. This is why I review CDs. To discover someone, I’ve never heard of and in the normal course of life, and probably never would. Marc Douglas Berardo is one such writer. His new CD, Harbor is lovely and well worth the listen. Let me say right from the beginning, this man can write. Shake Out the Dust, the 2nd track on the CD, is a beautifully written story of the impact cancer has on a family. It’s told in simple straightforward images – written like a conversation and so effective. I was there." The Muses Muse Magazine
"Harbor is an explanation in tone poem... Hollywood could make a movie based on this song alone. A few listens to Harbor might have you wondering if this praise is high enough." Frank Gutch Jr., FAME, The Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange
"Berardo is first and foremost is a storyteller...The title song of Berardo’s Harbor CD is a stellar example of the type of storytelling which is a part of all of his work. Berardo weaves the personal with the universal to help listeners of all sorts relate to his tales." Kathryn Vercillo, Northeast In Tune Magazine
"He writes easily with careful images and great tunes. I want to sing his songs. It is so difficult to write simply and well. Berardo does both. It also helps that he can certainly play his guitar. These are real-life stories and, in the hands of a good writer, all that more believable. It's not surprising that folks are paying attention to Berardo. He's been a winner and finalist in a lot of songwriting contests. He deserves it." Jane Eamon, Rambles - A Cultural Arts Magazine
"Another indie gem. I feel like I’ve made a special discovery. Imagine Bruce Springsteen stories as Glen Frey of The Eagles would tell them. Jackson Browne would kill to cover some of these songs. This is beautiful work. A gorgeous CD. A perfect soundtrack for the upcoming summer months." Jennifer Layton, Indie-Music.com
"This man's music taste like a walk on a golden autumn day...the typical sound of Iowa, Wyoming, North Carolina, Florida...it is simply, great American music." David Wonschewski, Bryter Layter Magazine Berlin, Germany
"His lonesome, clear voice easily carries an aching beauty through introspective songs such as''Untethered `` and'' The Rum Diary." "The Story (Life After Hemingway)" is a lyrical stand-out, a kind of anti-"Starry Starry Night" for serious students of the heart." Steve Klingaman, Minor 7th Magazine
Like Hemmingway, he draws his characters with pithy phrases…. Listen to these vignettes and draw your own conclusions. That's what his characters would want. Roger Zee, The Working Musician