Berk is a singer/songwriter from Leader who was named Indigenous Artist of the Year at last December’s Saskatchewan Music Awards. Currently, he’s in studio finishing up his third album, and is set to release a new single called “Fly Away”.  Here are six songs Berk considers favourites. /Gregory Beatty

“Mother Blues”
Ray Wylie Hubbard, The Grifter’s Hymnal (2012)

This song takes you on what might be a typical journey of those brave individuals who chase the elusive music career. But the line that sets it apart for me is: “And the days that I keep my gratitude higher than my expectations well, I have really good days”. Words to live by, I’d say! YouTube

“Live Forever”
Billy Joe Shaver, Tramp On Your Street (1993)

Like everyone else, I miss the loved ones who “cross that river”. When I sit down with my guitar and sing this song, it always makes me feel better. I remember that one day I may have the opportunity to see the folks that have left before me. YouTube

“Your Cheatin’ Heart”
Hank Williams, Single (1953)

Hank Williams was the master of the sad song. My grandmother used to sing this song to me as a child. Once I picked up a guitar, I’d strum the chords as she sang. I miss those days, and I miss her. YouTube

“Five Sisters”
Ray Elliott, Prairie Mountain Resonator (2016)

Ray is one of the great songwriters that have inspired me. He masterfully paints a picture of Saskatoon in my mind: “Five Sisters out my front door watch the moon put Saskatoon to sleep.” I love that line. I’m not sure I’ve ever been to Temperance Street. But I think I’ll make a point of visiting one day, just to see what Ray is singing about. Folk music at its finest. YouTube

“Home On a Rainbow”
LJ Tyson, Single (2022)

A powerful song about what it’s like being a member of the LGTBQ+ community in a “conservative small place in the middle of Saskatchewan”. It’s an emotional song that begs the question, why can’t people be free to just be who they are? YouTube

“The Revolution Starts Now”
Steve Earle, The Revolution Starts Now (2004)

This is the first song I ever performed on stage. I was terrified of singing in front of people, and really had no idea what I was singing. Like many of Steve Earle’s songs, “The Revolution Starts Now” is political. The message is simple: change starts with me, it starts with you, it starts with us. YouTube