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Mike Berst

Dulcimer Artist and Story Teller

"By far the finest dulcimer playing I have ever heard"
Dave Higgs, "Bluegrass Breakdown" WPLN, Nashville

Sweet Hour of Prayer (1992) - the old country hymn tunes from the period after the Civil War that became staples in the Baptist and Methodist congregational singing repertory: Whispering Hope, His Eye is on the Sparrow, How Great Thou Art, Will the Circle be Unbroken, Old Rugged Cross, Abide With Me, etc.

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Sweet Hour of Prayer CD - $15.00

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Star of the County Down (1992) - traditional Irish and Scottish
melodies: Skye Boat Song, Westering Home, Rosin the Beau, The Minstrel Boy, etc

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Star of the County Down CD - $15.00

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Troika (1995) - Russian and Ukrainian folk tunes: Troika, Bandura, Red Sarafan Dance, Autumn Dream, Nastassja, etc.

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Troika CD - $15.00

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Tunes of the Civil War Era (1995) -  a collection of tunes the soldiers sang and played during the war: Home Sweet Home, The Girl I Left Behind Me, Aura Lee, Just Before the Battle Mother, etc.

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Tunes of the Civil War Era CD $15.00

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The Holly and the Ivy  (1994) - traditional  tunes associated with old
carols: O Tanenbaum, Lo How a Rose, Good King Wenceslas, etc.

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Holly and the Ivy CD - $15.00

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The Music of Mike Berst

Mike Berst is a world-class virtuoso dulcimer artist and story teller. He performed for years around the country at fairs, festivals and concert venues since the 1970's. He is one of the handful of players who learned directly from the surviving traditional musicians in Michigan 40 years ago, and in addition to the early American repertory also plays music from a wide variety of ethnic traditions, learned from immigrants in his hometown of Detroit, and plays hundreds of traditional sacred tunes and hymns. His vast knowledge of history and his anecdotes and stories make for a unique concert experience. The recordings of his beautiful and haunting renditions of traditional music have sold over 50,000 copies and have been in great demand since they went out of production.

Read what the critics are saying...

"Mike Berst's performance this weekend is the 'don't miss' concert event of the year."

Bob Talbert, Detroit Free Press

"I love Mike Berst's music. The man is a virtuoso and then some. This is by far the finest dulcimer playing I have ever heard. He has complete command of the instrument, an ear for the melody, the ability to create interesting variations and improvisations, and the chops to play ANY kind of music and make it sound great."

Dave Higgs, "Bluegrass Breakdown" WPLN, Nashville

"Mike gives the music of the Civil War a plaintive and powerful rendition like no other artist I have ever heard."

Kent Anderson, KCSC, Oklahoma, "Different Roads"

"I fell in love with Berst's playing about 3 seconds into 'Aura Lee.' He has a truly fine touch."

Dan Foster, "Folkways" KUT-Austin

"I listened to STAR OF THE COUNTY DOWN over and over. . .and LOVED it. I plan to play lots of cuts from it on an on going basis"

Jay Dooling, KPFT, Houston "Irish Aires"

"Berst really nails it. His technical control is not only precise and tasteful, but he plays with convincing soul. He's got the talent, he's got all the licks. It really comes together. Mike has great chops"

Rick Gardner, "Pickin' and Swingin" KPFT, Houston

"It is simply great music. What more can you say?"

Kinney Rorrer WVTF, West Wirginia, "Back to the Blue Ridge"

"He reminds me so very much of a cymbalom player with his elaborate ornamentation, and complex chording and rhythms."

Richard Beard, WNCW, North Carolina, "Celtic Winds"

"The arrangement of Under the Double Eagle is just extraordinary. What is amazing is his ability to play so many different styles of music, and so well."

Wanda Fischer, WAMC, New York, "Hudson River Sampler"

For years Mike has donated his time to eldercare facilities, often spending 2 or 3 hours at each playing and talking with the residents, and has played in hundreds of nusring homs and senior living faciities.

"He's an artist, a teacher, an historian, an appreciator of music. He held their attention superbly. God bless him!"

Sister Theresa Michael, Kundig Eldercare Center, Detroit

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updated- April 4, 2010
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