Exposé Online banner

Robert Berry — Pilgrimage to a Point
(Cyclops CYCL 019, 1993/1995, CD)

by Mike Grimes, Published 1995-11-01

Pilgrimage to a Point Cover art

Robert Berry has been making music around the San Francisco Bay Area for about 20 years now – maybe longer. Probably his only national attention came during the late 80s when he teamed up with Keith Emerson and Carl Palmer for the album 3 and the tour which followed. Since then, I know that he has played several times around San Jose, opening for the likes of The Chris Squire Experiment and some other progressive acts, performing tunes from the 3 album and other original material. Pilgrimage to a Point contains two tracks co-written with Emerson and Palmer from a never released second 3 album, as well as two tracks co-written with Steve Howe for a never released second GTR album. There's also one track included that Berry submitted to ELP when they reunited for the Black Moon album which didn't end up on that record. So, basically most all the songs on Pilgrimage to a Point were to be on albums by other groups which Berry was affiliated with, but they weren't, so here they are now. Got it?

The excellent liner notes give a detailed walk through Berry's musical life over the past 10 years, including his stints with Emerson, Palmer, and Howe. The notes even include a Pete Frame style "family tree" with Berry's appropriate ties to ELP, Yes, ...etc and photos too. The songs are very much in the "3" vein – not overly progressive, but certainly more interesting harmonically and rhythmically than typical pop / rock music. A couple of tracks are really poppy, especially the untitled surprise track number 13. It has extremely strong Beatles ties and another track, "The Otherside," sounds like it could be Air Supply. Berry is clearly a song craftsman. His songs are well developed and produced, with all parts serving a purpose. He seems like the type guy that would spend hours working on a three second back up harmony vocal line to make sure it was just right. Oddly, though the liner notes are extensive, there are no musician credits given. It makes me wonder if there are any "special guests" on the CD. The two tracks co-written with Steve Howe either feature Steve himself on guitar, or someone playing his licks note for note – particularly the opening track "No One Else to Blame." Likewise, a lot of the keyboards are very much in the Emerson style – down to the Roland D-50 patches he was using around the time of 3. Fans of 3 and GTR would like this collection, but people who don't like either of those bands probably won't like this much. Interestingly, there's mention of a new band "Alliance" in the notes which Berry apparently joined in 1993 with former Sammy Hagar and Night Ranger band members, but I've heard no more about them since.


Filed under: Reissues, Issue 8, 1995 releases, 1993 recordings

Related artist(s): Robert Berry

Latest news

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Ange - Zenith An II – October 13, 2002 is perhaps a legendary date for fans of Ange. It was on this autumn evening that the band took to the stage at the Paris Zenith with a host of Ange members past and present, along...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues