Longtime Jamaica Plain resident and rock musician Rick Berlin released his latest album late last month.
Backed by the eight-member The Nickel and Dime Band, with whom he has been playing for over a year, Berlin is pleased with the result, “Always on Insane,” he said.
“For me, it’s my best recording, largely because of the sheer joy of playing these tunes with this band,” Berlin said. “The way these guys play really hits the heart.”
Berlin credits the fact that “Always on Insane” was recorded in JP-based Dimension Sounds Studios on Centre Street with being able to record it at all.
“I doubt we could have managed to do this in any other place besides JP,” Berlin said, mentioning scheduling issues with so many musicians involved. “We felt super comfortable in there. [The studio has] great drum sounds and an amazing 100-year-old piano.”
Berlin has worked with sound engineer Joe Stewart before, on previous releases “Paper Airplane” and “Old Stag.”
The title comes from guitarist Rob Manochio’s amplifier, Berlin explained.
“The amp had a knob setting that reads, ‘Insane.’ [Manochio] was explaining that that’s what he uses for gigs, so he hits his solos hard. Also, the amp would ‘go crazy’ on him, blinking lights like a Christmas tree and changing tones on him all by itself,” Berlin said. “And, well, we’re sort of like that energy-wise on stage.”
As for the longevity of his music career—this is his 15th album, Berlin said, though he was not sure of the count—Berlin said, “It never gets old.”
“I do hope that this [album] has legs beyond the neighborhood, beyond Boston. It’s way too good a work to not carry as far as we possibly can.”
Berlin has been active in the Boston music scene since the 1970s, playing solo and with numerous bands. He’s released numerous singles, EPs, studio and live albums.
His website has 20 releases listed, including a musical and live recordings, though “Always on Insane” and 2010’s “Paper Airplane” are not included.
“Always on Insane” is available at bandcamp.com, cdbaby.com, and amazon.com.