From time immemorial people have been playing with them. You can collect them; you can break your neck on them. As a southern saying goes someone with a hole in her bag of marbles is ‘a bit peculiar, deviant and different’. Kris Berry wrote a song about someone whose marbles rolled out of her bag: herself.
And she named her album after the glittering droplets, because Marbles in this case also stand for what emerges from her ‘mind’, her 'marbles': twists, confessions, experiences, sensations. You would not say if you see and hear her on stage, but it was quite a challenge for Kris Berry (1982) to take up singing. She grew up with a lot of music on the Antillean islands where she lived, as well as in the European cities where she has studied and worked. At family parties she was expected to sing, which she so stubbornly refused. But she kept listening.
She absorbed country, Latin, ska, jazz and Cuban music like a sponge. Until she gathered enough confidence, tossed away her diffidence and went to sing with a jazz band. But she wanted more. In 2011 she published her first EP. Five songs, including Flower Empty Tree in January played for the first time on radio by Giel Beelen.
Radio 6 made her EP "Schijf van 6" (Disk of Six) and Kris was elected their first Soul & Jazz Talent. She did sessions on virtually all radio stations, played from Brabant to Groningen and participated in supporting programs including Eli 'Paperboy' Reed (De Melkweg) and Selah Sue (De Effenaar). A highlight was her performance at the North Sea Jazz Festival 2011 in the Netherlands. Kris writes her songs with guitarist and producer Paul Willemsen (Beans & Fatback and Lefties Soul Connection), with whom she has developed a distinct language. Kris has no musical training; she allows particularly her feelings to speak.
Down-to-earth Paul understands exactly what Kris means when she describes an idea for a song like ‘where the waves break’. Kris writes the lyrics herself. It is as if the listener is reading from her diary. About the time her friends knew the truth, but did not dare to tell her (Second Best). About her churning thoughts on transiency.
(Crystal Ball in the Cupboard). About the time she sat in the train and decided: now I am going to be a singer. The beautiful Meadow Song about that decision. Marbles is mixed by Jerry Boys, who previously worked with the Buena Vista Social Club, Omara Portuondo, REM and Ry Cooder. They made the sound Kris and Paul love so much.
Only one e-mail was needed for Jerry Boys to say 'yes'. This feels like a blessing. He understands how Kris’ mind works, how her marbles roll. To play at marbles is a metaphor for life: you win some, you lose some. Kris Berry captures in songs the marbles she won and those she lost.
Some continue to shine, others may become dull. But tomorrow there is always another game to be played, which again will yield new twists, stir up new admissions and allow for new experiences and confessions. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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