Americana Highways brings you this premiere of Chris Berardo’s version of Badfinger’s song “Baby Blue,” which was originally written by Pete Ham.
This “Baby Blue” was recorded in David Abeyta’s (Reckless Kelly, Jamie Lin Wilson, Cody Canada & The Departed, etc.) Austin, TX Isla Del Cielo Studio just prior to the pandemic. Interpreting this song started as an idea Chris and David were throwing around on the studio patio one evening. Chris mentioned having opened for Badfinger years prior. David made a couple of calls and pulled in friends and Reckless Kelly bandmates Jay Nazz and Joe Miller, and this version was born.
This song is David Abeyta on acoustic and electric guitars; Joe Miller on bass; Chris Berardo on vocals; and Jay Nazz on drums. With a great backstory about its inception, and a high degree of rock ‘n roll energy, this “Baby Blue” by Chris Berardo is one for the collection. Pulling in members of Reckless Kelly was the icing on the cake.
I was on the patio with David Abeyta outside his Austin, TX studio having cocktails and taking in the sunset when the idea took hold. I was telling the story of opening for the great British band Badfinger years ago, and what a fun gig that had been. I ended up singing English Football fight songs with Joey Molland that night and having a really good time. I’d always been a huge fan of Badfinger’s music, just such a fantastic blend of melodies, great harmony singing and rock solid playing.
Knowing their history with Apple Records and The Beatles made perfect sense to me, that’s how good I thought the songs were. In fact, I had a band in NYC for years called Sleeper and the one cover song we played in the show was “No Matter What,” and we did it for years.
My songwriting partner from Sleeper, Bill Cinque, actually became the touring bass player in Badfinger for years! So their music was always bumping around in my life and I was just drawn to it.
I think that kind of rock songwriting with cool harmony singing and great melodies has always moved me and always been at least one part of the thing I strive for when I write, so those records have definitely been formative for me.
The one that maybe got under my skin the most was “Baby Blue,” it’s so catchy— it just rocks, and yet there’s such a beautiful melancholy within all that.
So I was telling David the story about the gig and I said, ‘You know, I’d love to maybe take a stab at ‘ aby Blue’ someday, I think it might be made for us.’ I played the record on my phone for him, to refresh him on it, and I remember that after about 40 seconds in, David said, ‘oh, Hell Yeah, we are doing this!'”
David played in one of my absolute favorite bands, Reckless Kelly, for nearly 20 years and he had always been one of my favorite guitar players. I absolutely just knew that his playing and production style would be a slam dunk on the song and I really think I was right about that.
As turned out, my band and I have been lucky enough to do a lot of shows and touring with Reckless Kelly over the years. They are all amazing guys I am proud to have worked with and call friends at this point. — Chris Berardo