© 2024 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
WPKT · WRLI-FM · WEDW-FM · Public Files Contact
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Matraca Berg: 'Dreaming' Out Loud

Matraca Berg's latest album is titled <em>The Dreaming Fields</em>.
Glen Rose
Matraca Berg's latest album is titled The Dreaming Fields.

Singer-songwriter Matraca Berg co-wrote her first hit song with Bobby Braddock at age 18. She's a two-time Grammy nominee and a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame in Nashville, where she was born, raised and still lives. In nearly three decades of writing songs for country music artists such as Reba McEntire and Martina McBride, Berg has released five of her own albums, including The Dreaming Fields, her first album in 14 years.

Berg's latest is about the broken dreams of adulthood, acceptance and moving on even when you know there may not be anything better up ahead. If that sounds sad, well, it is. But Berg folds these sad stories into a beautiful backdrop of melody and mood. In the title track, she waves goodbye to a family farm destined to become suburban subdivisions in a stunning, evocative ballad.

The Dreaming Fields is populated by lost souls. Perhaps Berg is so good at telling their stories because she's spent some of her career in the margins, while mainstream Nashville stars took her wonderful songs to the top of the charts. "Silver and Glass" is a cautionary tale about a woman who went in the opposite direction as Berg, trading on her looks in the pursuit of stardom, only to come to a bad end.

But not all of Berg's characters are so magnificently doomed. In "Your Husband's Cheating on Us," which sounds like a big nod to pioneering female singer-songwriter Bobbie Gentry, a mistress and betrayed wife team up, administering justice to the man they share when he trades them both in for a younger woman.

Whether she's etching landscapes out of emotional uncertainty or revealing how people ultimately found their strength, Berg's gift as a songwriter lies in her ability to convey stories from the inside out. And, though she's had great success providing songs to others, it's even more compelling to hear them sung in her own expressive voice.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Meredith Ochs

Stand up for civility

This news story is funded in large part by Connecticut Public’s Members — listeners, viewers, and readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

We hope their support inspires you to donate so that we can continue telling stories that inform, educate, and inspire you and your neighbors. As a community-supported public media service, Connecticut Public has relied on donor support for more than 50 years.

Your donation today will allow us to continue this work on your behalf. Give today at any amount and join the 50,000 members who are building a better—and more civil—Connecticut to live, work, and play.