For nearly a decade Michael Harrison Berg of Van Ghost was a behind the scenes type of guy. Having poured his energy into his ventures as a concert promoter and band manager, little was left over for personal creative endeavors.
That all changed in 2007 when Berg's close friends encouraged him to revisit the acoustic guitar he put down in his younger days and asked him to perform a song at their wedding. Melding the inspiration from the many talented bands he has worked with and his own passion for music, the singer returned to his roots. He began writing songs, drawing from his life experiences, creating a heartfelt and staggeringly honest perspective. After building up a solid repertoire of poppy folk ballads, gritty Americana tunes and classic rock laced jams, Berg called on his dear friend Jennifer Hartswick (Trey Anastasio Band), and they collectively assembled an all-star cast of musicians and named the project Van Ghost.
With an exquisite 5 piece band flavored with psychedelic guitars, an earth shattering rhythm section, & haunting guy/girl harmonies, the band played it's debut show before a packed audience at Chicago's revered Metro in January 2008. It was an auspicious beginning for one of world's most promising new acts.
Following up their debut record, "Melodies For Lovers", on Split Red Records, the band headed down to Nashville, TN to begin the tracking of their next release "The Domino Effect" for Dustimmoff Records (a start up label with Split Red owner Timm Martin & 2009 Grammy winning Producer/Engineer/Mixer Justin Niebank). With Justin Niebank at the helm the bands sound continues to develop and expand. Berg has established that he is as comfortable operating under the spotlight as he is behind the curtain. With Van Ghost, he sets out to inspire music fans the same as other artists have inspired him – one song at a time.
Hot Cheeze Soup
Hot Cheeze Soup is a melting of many distinct musical talents. By cleverly mixing the clean, crisp shredding of Chris Carter's Guitar, the cherubic and voluminous tone of Will Kilduff's voice, the melodic mauling of Charlie "the Meerkat" on the hand drums, and the pertinacious pounding of Jorge Urie on the Kit, HCS has created a unique and refreshing style all of its own. HCS believes in one true thing: WE CAN CHANGE THE WORLD WITH MUSIC. We hope that all of you agree. If you would like to melt with us into this bread-bowl that we call life, BECOME OUR FRIEND, OR COME CHECK OUT A SHOW! Also, check out the other local musicians that we have become friends with. We have worked regularly with Kenny Lee Young, My Friend Tom and Gunjumper and have met many other talented people. Thank you all for helping us get better and grow as a band!