The Halifax Urban Folk Festival is back and we couldn’t be happier. HUFF presents The Pursuit of Happiness‘s Moe Berg with the Halifax All Stars and an opening songwriters’ circle featuring Tift Merritt, John K. Samson and national treasure Art Bergmann at The Carleton on Friday, September 1st. Show time is 7:30 PM and tickets – available at TicketPro HERE – are $50 (including taxes).
Doors are at 6 PM so get there early to snag the seats you want!
“I don’t express myself very well in normal everyday life. I think my songwriting in a lotta ways is sort of an exorcism for me, almost a therapy kind of thing. Sometimes when I finish writing these songs I think, ‘Wow, where did that come from?’” Moe Berg
There was a time when The Pursuit Of Happiness, Moe Berg’s still-happening-on-and-off band, was considered one of the best live acts in the country. Over time, personnel changes, as well as family commitments and a new career as an in-demand producer, have put that live rep on the back burner but the songs – I’m An Adult Now, She’s So Young, Hard To Laugh, Killed By Love, Two Girls In One (the list does go on) – are etched in the musical consciousness of every Canadian who grew up the golden age of MuchMusic.
“The great thing about the gentle, self-depreciating Berg, other than those clever, funny lyrics, is that he continues to be so darn nice. How can you not like a guy who begins a rare acoustic set by saying ‘This isn’t my usual thing’ and then proceeds to charm his audience as if he’s been doing the quiet thing for years?” Edmonton Journal
“Berg and his five-piece The Pursuit of Happiness gleefully conjured up memories of the Raspberries, AC/DC and Abba, often during a single three-minute tune.” Philadelphia Enquirer
HUFF is thrilled that Moe will be back in Halifax for the first time in memory to play some acoustic music opening for Tift Merritt and John K. Samson as well as headlining his own rock night with a Halifax All Star Band, which will include TPOH guitarist Kris Abbott! There was a good reason the band had its rep as a live act and if you’re smart enough to be at The Carleton on the Labour Day weekend, you’ll find out for yourself!
“There are two laws to which TPOH abide: The guitar is God and multi-layered harmonies are essential to every song. The second law, enforced by producer/guru Todd Rundgren, is the one that rationalises the whole album. Verily, the lion shall lie with the lamb.” Sounds Magazine (UK)
“Love, desire, lust, sex – Moe Berg sings about it all. And he does it with enough wit and intelligence that Rolling Stone called his Toronto band, The Pursuit of Happiness, a ‘thinking person’s pop group.’ On its third album, The Downward Road, the Edmonton-born Berg continues to display his knack for turning the agony and the ecstasy of romance into catchy three-minute pop tunes. It is a convincing tale, and proof that Berg has become one of pop’s finest chroniclers of emotional wars.” MacLean’s Magazine
“In keeping with Moe’s ambition for TPOH to be a cross between ‘ABBA and AC/DC‘, One Sided Story is a barrage of big, bright’n’dirty guitar riffs, glissando harmonies and shiny metallic melodies. But despite the title, it covers its sexual subject matter from every position possible – funny and angry, appalled and fascinated, menacing and besotted.” NME (UK)
“With a lascivious heavy-helium sound, a stance at once underground and anti-punk, and a long- haired blonde geek-cum-star fronting them, TPOH were naturals. Moe Berg’s smirk flickered onto the national consciousness in the late ’80’s, skewering immaturity with a power-pop rocker (I’m An Adult Now) and a great indie video. Crunchy guitars on the outside, candied harmonies on the inside, this was a band for everybody’s tomorrows.” Montreal Gazette
Edmonton native Moe Berg watched his father play in country bands while he grew up, and spent his time admiring guitarists like Eddie Van Halen, Jeff Beck and Johnny Winter. In his teens and early 20’s he pursued his musical ambitions with area bands like the Modern Minds, Troc ’59 and Facecrime. It was in Troc ’59 that he hooked up with drummer Dave Gilby and in 1985, they agreed that the only way to keep going musically was to move to Toronto and try things out there.
Once in Toronto Moe formed The Pursuit of Happiness. After their indie release, I’m An Adult Now became an underground hit, the band was signed to Chrysalis Records. Their debut full length, Love Junk was produced by Berg’s childhood idol Todd Rundgren and the record launched the band to international attention. TPOH embarked on a year long world tour and then settled in with Rundgren to record their follow up, One-Sided Story. After more touring, the band followed Chrysalis label head, Mike Bone to Mercury Records and released their third album, The Downward Road. The band released two more studio records, Where’s The Bone and The Wonderful World of The Pursuit Of Happiness. Two greatest hits compliations followed, a US selection on Razor And Tie’s called Sex And Food in 2000 and When We Ruled in 2005 on EMI Canada. A full length concert, The Pursuit of Happiness Live In Concert was released in 2005.
A collection of Moe’s short stories, The Green Room was published in 2000.
Outside of TPOH, Moe is also now an in-demand producer and writer in Toronto.
THE OPENING SONGWRITERS’ CIRCLE
John K. Samson