With influences as diverse as Gilbert and Sullivan and Edith Piaf, but always with a twist of their own, Lou and Peter Berryman bring an inventive and intelligent humor to the rich melodic legacy of theatrical music. They are in the process of creating their third songbook, and recently they released their tenth recording of original songs to rave reviews. Berryman songs are being sung around the world, by a legion of professional musicians as well as shower singers everywhere, but no one sings them as well as Lou and Peter themselves.
When it comes to being funny, I think I've spent the first thirty years trying to be as funny as Tom Lehrer and the last part will be trying to be as funny as the Berrymans. They don't come any funnier than that... Tom Paxton
It is very rare that I ever put on a recording for the 1st time and actually break out in audible laughter. I thought Lou & Peter's DOUBLE YODEL was fantastic. Robert J. Lertsema, WGBH, Boston
Lou & Peter Berryman write very eccentric, very funny satirical songs...delightful Wisconsin performers... If Tom Lehrer had grown up in America's Dairyland, his songs might sound like theirs. THE BOSTON GLOBE
Once in a while a song comes along that so successfully crystallizes familiar thoughts that you feel you could have written it yourself... Alot of people feel that way about [Lou & Peter's] "Why Am I Painting the Living Room" THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY CHRONICLE
...Quirky, wry, ironic humor. Peter's highly literate lyrics and skewed perspective are unique. When enhanced by Lou's soundscapes, the duo makes magic. By the time the Berrymans encored with their wistful, fumbling love song "We Strolled On the Beach" I was in love too. I'm a fan of this clever duo now. VICTORIA TIMES COLONIST
Peter and Lou Berryman just have to be the funnybones of the Midwest. Public radio listeners know that this Madison-based duo is pure entertainment. Their huge bag of comic music is filled with gems sung daily by dozens of well-known entertainers, but never done better than by themselves. CHRONIC LAUGHTER ALERT: persons with recent rib injuries should wear their braces or prepare to leave the show early. GRASSROOTS CONCERTS, Brainerd, MN
Sharing a fascination with language and a unique perspective on the world, Lou & Peter Berryman offer refreshing observations on the human condition in a style blending folk music with musical comedy. They manage to translate it all into hilarious songs that have become instant classics. Songs that feel like they had you in mind when the words and music came together. THE WINNIPEG FOLK FESTIVAL, Winnipeg, MN Canada
Their songs and performances are unfailingly wacky, and just as dependably 100% right. No one writes songs like Peter and Lou, but everyone recognizes the truth and the clear vision behind each one. 10# FIDDLE, Lansing, MI
This once-married duo from the upper midwest is among the most entertaining acts we've ever had at the Freight. Their songs are crafted from often unpromising raw material (sports headlines, mother love, state pride) but invariably as the lyrics unroll the audience begins to roll on the floor...
The Freight & Salvage, Berkeley, CA
Peter & Lou Berryman, when first introduced to us through the singing of Michael Cooney, might have been considered a sort of clever novelty act. They wrote and sang their own songs, mostly humorous, Peter on 12 string guitar and Lou on accordion on a pogo stick. Now, however, looking at over a decade of producing more maturing, sophisticated and wickedly funny material, they have obviously achieved a classic level of comedic songwriting in the ranks of Tom Lehrer or Flanders & Swann. Responsible for such gems as "A Chat with your Mother" (the "F"-word song), "The Speculator", "Why Am I Painting the Living Room?" and dozens more, they have identified the exact point where the English language meets the funny bone, with a special flair for songs in which two voices singing entirely different things somehow manage to mesh into one cacophonic, yet clear, message. Mike Agranoff, THE FOLK PROJECT, Basking Ridge, NJ
Lou & Peter Berryman's wry folk songs may one day be proclaimed by scholars as the definitive view of Wisconsin in the late 20th century. Isthmus, Madison, WI
...Folkdom's favorite funny folks... Folklore Society of Greater Washington
Lou and Peter have been friends since 1963 when they met in art class and then began their musical partnership in the first of a long series of musical groups. They played lots of different kinds of music; folk, jug band and old-time music, with occasional forays into blues and even rock and roll were adapted to a growing repertoire of original songs. Their friendship survived a brief marriage, and the musical duo as it exists today was formed in about 1975. Since then they have performed in big and little venues across the continent, performing only their original songs. The music reflects the wide variety of interests and experiences of these two, as seen through the softening lens of humor. Their latest recording, DOUBLE YODEL, was released in spring of 1995.
All albums @ Cornbelt Records, Box 3452, Madison, WI 53704 PUBLICATIONS
The Berryman Berryman Songbook 1984 - 30 songs, illustrated, with piano arrangements. (out of print)
The New Berryman Berryman Songbook 1989 - 85 songs, illustrated.
Lou and Peter Berryman