Robert is a multi-talented producer/songwriter/vocalist/instrumentalist. When it comes to creating music, he does it all and does it very well.
While he’s best known for his time as the vocalist/bassist in the Emerson, Lake & Palmer offshoot, 3, that featured Emerson and Palmer, he’s also served a stint as the front-man in Ambrosia, along with current long running relationships performing and recording with the band Alliance (which features members from Sammy Hagar, Boston and Night Ranger) and currently as writing partner and touring bass player with 80s icon Greg Kihn’s band.
He is also the leader of December People, which has produced four albums of Christmas music arranged in the style of various classic rock artists and performs these arrangements around the holidays. The band includes members of Boston, the Sammy Hagar Band, The Tubes, Y&T, the Greg Kihn Band, amongst others. And, this busy musician has also released five solo albums since 1985 and produced and performed on The Wheel of Time, an album billed as a soundtrack to the Robert Jordan fantasy series The Wheel of Time. Berry also has contributed songs to a number of film soundtracks, including the Anthony Michael Hall film Out of Bounds.
The Rules Have Changed features contributions by Keith Emerson. The album is not only an excellent musical achievement, it is also noteworthy for being the last musical project in which Emerson was ever involved prior to his untimely passing in 2016.
Growing up in Northern California, Robert set out on his musical path at a young age and while in college, formed Hush, a band which gained critical acclaim on the West Coast. Berry also built and operated his own recording studio during that time and quickly became adept at producing, recording and arranging. He eventually recorded his first solo album, Back to Back, which garnered praise in national music trade publications like Cashbox and Billboard.
Eventually moving to the UK, Berry met Yes guitarist Steve Howe and joined Howe in a revamped version of the renowned British rock band, GTR. Before disbanding, the band recorded a new album to which Berry contributed heavily on vocals and guitar but the album was never released.
While in the UK, he met Keith Emerson, who invited him to join the new line-up of 3. They released on Geffen Records in 1988 the album, To the Power of 3, which also resulted in a successful tour and the release of several live 3 concert recordings. The first single released from the album, Talkin’ Bout, penned by Berry, reached #9 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.
Since their initial meeting, Berry and Emerson remained friends for over 30 years, meeting in Los Angeles in 2016 to discuss the long-awaited follow-up release to 3. After Emerson’s death in 2016, Berry was left with Emerson’s final musical ideas for the project. From old cassette tapes, keyboard parts written over the phone and long discussions between the two friends about style, the framework of the album was set and ready to be produced.
“Keith and I developed together a vision of what the new album would be like, explains Berry. “The new album consists of some past 3 writing from 1988, some newly written last efforts from Keith, and some songs written exclusively by me after Keith’s death.”
Says Berry, “Every second I worked on writing, recording, and performing those songs I had one thing on my mind,” says Berry. “The phrase… ‘What would Keith do’…drove me, it guided me, it consumed my creativity. It was so important to me to fulfill our vision for this album. I believe Keith worked through me. I especially felt him with me when I did the solos. The songs we had worked on together but the solos were to be improvised while recording. You will hear his flare coming through on the solos. The solos are played by me, but, at the same time, also by him. I would never say I was even close to being the player Keith was. But I believe you can hear his spirit in the sound and in my playing. I am so proud of this album. I can’t help but think somehow he is proud of the results too.”
Robert Berry website: http://www.robertberry.com