Fredericksburg Songwriters' Showcase Lou & Peter Berryman

Lou & Peter Beryman

Lou and Peter Berryman were both raised in Appleton, WI, and began playing music together in high school during the sixties. During the following nomadic decade, Lou studied classical voice and music theory in college while Peter continued an unfocused fascination with surrealist art, beatnik poetry, and jug band music. Early influences of American and British musical comedy and folk music fed a growing song bag of their original songs. Their brief marriage in the early seventies resolved into a lifelong friendship, and by the late seventies and early eighties they were honing their skills playing regular weekly concerts at a music club in Madison, becoming full-time musicians and songwriters in 1979.

During those early years they were motivated to write new songs every week, many about the history, cheese, beer and strange politics of their home state. By the mid '80s they were traveling all across the country, still writing and singing, but now with a broader perspective, finding that the quirks of their home state were not so much Midwestern as human. In these twenty-five years of performing together, Lou and Peter have produced twelve albums and two songbooks worth of hilarious, quirky, yet oddly profound songs, rich with word play and interesting images.

Pete Seeger, Tom Paxton and Tom Lehrer count themselves among their fans. Their work has appeared in numerous compilations such as the popular RISE UP SINGING songbook, in periodicals like SING OUT! Magazine, and in many audio collections. Berryman songs are being sung around the world by a legion of professional musicians including Peter, Paul and Mary, Garrison Keillor and Peggy Seeger, as well as shower singers everywhere.

In 1999 and again in 2002 they performed at the Kennedy Center is Washington, DC, chosen as Wisconsin's representative for Wisconsin State Day. They have appeared on such national programs as MPR's A Prairie Home Companion and NPR's Weekend Edition, and tour across North America throughout the year.

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