Peter Bernas

May the Better Man Lose

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A compelling debut album from this Chicago-based folk artist, May the Better Man Lose is a heart-wrenching journey chronicling Bernas's first recordings, starting with "Apart," the first song he'd ever written. The album was steeped in tragedy after guitarist John Duich died of a heart attack a few weeks after the recording sessions were completed. Duich had a large presence on the album on lead and rhythm guitar, and his apparently unfinished instrumental blues, "The Paul Super Apple Blues," is included on the album in his memory. Highlights of the album include "Apart," two versions of "The Girl You Knew Before," "My Addiction," and "The Night Our Love Died." However, the album is uneven and some tracks sound like filler. Besides the Duich instrumental and the two takes of the same song, a version of Ralph Covert's "Swieta W. Chicago" is included, but with new lyrics in Polish written by Bernas. Covert, who plays acoustic guitar on the album, taught Bernas at the Old Town School of Folk Music. Overall, Peter Bernas's debut album is worth checking out despite the rough edges.

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