House Blend | Episode 11B: John Bergstrom
About the Artist
Santa Clarita’s own John Bergstrom is a performer of both traditional and original music from and about the West. Since joining the Western Music Association, he has released his debut CD, “Western State O’ Mind,” and recently released his second CD, “Throw Down the Box.” John has performed at a variety of events including festivals, coffee shops, restaurants, community fund raising events, and local radio shows.
I’m a child of the West … the far West … Los Angeles. I’m a city kid who has always loved the open spaces. I was raised on cowboy movies and western displays at museums wherever I could find them. I’ve been involved with music all of my life and have touched Western Music at various times. It’s been these last four years, however, in which I focused on this form of traditional music to the exclusion of others.
My first CD, Western State O’Mind, features an engaging combination of original and traditional songs. “Tiburcio Vasuquez” was a real Californio bandito in the mid 1800s. His most famous exploits happened in what’s now the northern part of Los Angeles County up to Monterrey County. He viewed himself a revolutionary according to most sources I read. This colorful figure needed a song.
The poem “1876” comes from a remarkable and important year in U.S. History. A bunch of events took place in the year of our national centennial.
“Western State O’Mind,” the title song for this project reflects my pleasure at driving through the Southwest. Yes, I was driving East, but I was still hunting my Western State of Mind.
The growth of Los Angeles has always been fueled by the need of water. The “St. Francis Dam” north of L.A. was intended to save several months of water supply for the city. When the dam collapsed, about 500 people died.
Colonel Goodnight’s cattle trail through west Texas ran close to the home of my wife’s family in Childress. I’ve always through it a neat thing to be connected to a piece of history. Hence, “Springtime in Texas.”
T.C. Schnebly is credited with founding Sedona, Arizona. We should all be grateful that it isn’t named Schneblyville. It was a wise thing to name the new town after his wife, Sedona. This beautiful area has a colorful history in the “Red Rocks of Sedona.”
“Latchkey Cowboy” celebrates my childhood watching my heroes on TV. If you’re a baby boomer enough, you might relate.
Finally, “Cowboy Waltz” tells my appreciation for the Cowboy Way. If we don’t watch out, we might lose it.
ABOUT THE HOST
“House Blend” host, writer and co-producer Stephen K. Peeples is a Grammy-nominated record producer (“Monterey International Pop Festival,” 1992), award-winning radio writer-producer (“The Lost Lennon Tapes,” 1988-1990) and veteran record company executive (Capitol, Elektra/Asylum, Rhino). A Canyon Country resident since early 1988, Peeples wrote about the SCV music scene for The Signal newspaper in 2004-2006 and was Managing Editor of the My Santa Clarita community website in 2006-2007. He was The Signal’s Online Editor and social media manager from October 2007 to May 2011. In 2009 he was honored when The-Signal.com was named “Best Website” by the California Newspaper Publishers Association. A jazz and rock drummer since he was 12, Peeples was a member of the underground West L.A. garage band Peaking Duck from 1977-2008. In 2010, he co-founded the SCV-based jazz quartet RainTree.