Performance Reviews CD/Song Reviews
"Yes, you have an interesting effect on people. A calming and relaxing enjoyment of the string of notes being (so very well) played."

- June 2016 Pete Vreendenburgh (Organizer of Beardstown Brown Bag Lunch Concerts)

"I think this guy has like two thumbs and 7 fingers on each hand...have mercy...some mighty fine pickin'..."
- Marty Davis

"David traveled across the state to play at the winery in Southern Illinois and we couldn't have asked for a better act. A few pickers in the area came to see David play and I knew we were in for something special. A great sound that made for a perfect Sunday afternoon at the winery. We can't wait to have him perform again."

- Corey Peters, Alto Vineyards' Tasting Room Manager


"I had many great comments last night. A regular guest made a point to pull me aside and make sure I knew that we needed to have you back (for the 4th of July) next year! Several other guests also raved about the atmosphere. I look forward to working with you again in the future."

-- Dale - owner/operator, Old Chicago on the Waterfront in Peoria


"You guys (Berchtold & Stear) sounded great! I got many postive comments (at the Lunchtime Concert Series), and this was the best turnout we've had yet!"

-- Eric Veal, Cultural Arts Program Manager, Bloomington Parks and Rec


"Let's just book you for every Thursday. You're great. Our customers always say that they like what you do."
-- Kevin Hull, Owner/Operator/Head Chef, The Redfire Grille


"I wanted to thank you and Brian for coming out to the (Midwest Mountain Bike) festival last weekend. I know it was cold and we were running a little late. We appreciate your support and especially your fantastic music. I heard from many people how much they enjoyed your show. I hope to get to hear you again soon, in a little warmer environment! Thanks so much for your contribution to the weekend."

-- Carrie Kerr, Midwest Mountain Bike Association


"Dave, Great night of playing - fine sound you have there! Mark tells me he is already planning on hiring you for Momence! All those years of practicing are paying off. Once again, nice job at my show! Come back for the Blues Fest next May 30th!!! And I'll have other gigs for you too!"

-- Chuck Gomez, Owner and MC, Watseka Theatre


"Hey Hey Hey...what a GREAT SOUND you and Chris provided on Saturday at the Grape (Soiree). WOW!!! ............thank you............thank you............thank you......... "

-- Jenni Bateman, Easter Seals Grape Soiree Committee Member


"The Illinois Association of Housing Authorities hired David Berchtold and Friends (Dave and Chris) for the annual awards banquet. I received many compliments about the musicians and the selection of music. We had a range in the age of the IAHA membership and they all enjoyed the music! Thanks again for making our evening enjoyable! "

-- Anne Smith


"David and Brian, Thank you so much for playing (no pun intended) a significant role in making Easter Seals’ 17th Grape Soiree’ a record breaking event. The music provided by Berchtold and Stear received rave reviews from our guests who insist that you be asked back next year. Not only was the quality and presentation of your music greatly enjoyed by all but the sincere and personal support you conveyed to those in attendance regarding Easter Seals’ mission was clearly heard and greatly appreciated."

-- David Bateman, Easter Seals Community President


"The Illinois Sustainable Living and Wellness Expo’s (ISLWE) performance stage welcomed the music of Berchtold and Stear at this year’s event. The music was the perfect component to blend with the energy of the Expo creating a wonderful backdrop acoustically. In review of this year’ s evaluations of the event, there were many who thanked us for the having such high caliber musicians requesting that we have a repeat performance at next year’s Expo. We already have booked David and Brian (for next year) to honor this request; it’s a good thing!"

--Missy Smock, Illinois Wesleyan University Wellness Director & Co-coordinator of ISLWE


"Thank you for making our The Art of Wine 2008 event in Lincoln an even greater success. We received many great comments on our entertainment this year and your sound really played into the feel we were looking to achieve! Will definitely want you back next year. And bring all your wine tasting friends too! "

-- David Lanterman, Main Street Lincoln


"I hired David to perform at my fundraiser recently. The event was an art auction held at Timothy Kent Gallery & Framing in downtown Bloomington. David treated the crowd to some amazing music. His rooftop tunes were smooth, cool, and refreshing on a sizzling August night. David was prompt and professional, and easy to work with. If you're looking for just the right sound, then you've found your guy. "
--Brian Plath, Candidate for McLean County Circuit Clerk.


"We really enjoyed your performance at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. Your music fit beautifully with the evening and your presentation was great. Hope you can play in the Champaign-Urbana area again soon."

-- Larry Ecker, Director, Creative Services, Univ. of Illinois


"David and Brian (Acoustic Groove Duo) entertained our crowd and created a family friendly atmosphere - while singing and helping to create awareness for the March of Dimes"
-- Lori Christopherson, Division Director, March of Dimes


"David Berchtold provided musical entertainment at our the Spring Bloom Arts Festival. What a great decision we made to invite him to participate. His musicianship was excellent, he is great to work with and he was a high value. The only question I was asked is 'Can we bring him back next year?!' "

- Doug Johnson, Executive Director, McLean County Art Center


"David, on behalf of myself and the staff at Merrill Lynch we wanted to thank you for a great performance at our Client Christmas Event at the Bloomington Country Club. We plan on having you back next year, so please keep us in mind. The Christmas music and setting inside BCC made for a great night. We received many compliments on your talents and look forward to having you at our next event!!"
-- John C. Meinhold, Financial Advisor, CRPC, Merrill Lynch


"Hey David, I went to Chicago yesterday and I listened to your CD again and again. The more I listened, I more I liked it. Your playing is so sophiscated. Beside of that, the most impressive thing for me was the way you played (at Borders Books). You were so in into your play and I could tell you were not only play for audience, you were really enjoying the happiness guitar brought to you. You and guitar were one body when you played. Also, your voice is so magnetic and carries a lot of history. I LIKE YOUR PLAY. I will go back to Borders to buy the second CD and have you sign it!"
-- Bing He, Bloomington (Bing bought a CD during my show at Borders)


"...and I had the pleasure of attending a Drop-D tuning fingerpicking workshop that David gave earlier in the day. I spent some time working through some of his etudes yesterday. Good stuff, pithy, useful supplementary material, it's hard to believe you were a workshop rookie... "

-- Brian Foote, Attendee at C/U Folk and Roots Feistival


"My wife and I saw you and Brian Stear play at the Bloomington Farmers Market last Saturday, and I just wanted to drop you a line to let you know how thoroughly we enjoyed it. I'm certainly not a musician myself, but I love good music of many kinds, and your playing is just beautiful: technically accomplished (as far as this amateur can tell), yet wholly accessible and engaging. All the same goes for Brian, who really gets a lot of energy and emotion out of that harmonica. I guess I was most impressed with the gospel tunes you chose, but really on everything, your playing was wonderful, and your arrangements brought out the best of the songs -- not just the toe-tapping rhythm (which is so important, but I suspect is also the easiest part to get right) but more deeply, the warmth, the humor, the wistfulness -- you really tapped emotionally into every one. All in all, you two were definitely the best we've heard at the market so far, and you really made our Saturday. So I just wanted to say thanks very much for that, and all the best with your music!"

-- Bill Philpott, Normal


"You guys are the best Friday night band I've got."
-- Derek at NV Ultra Lounge, referring to my duo with Steve "the Harp"


"You did a great job (at our party)! Everyone enjoyed it. We'll surely keep you in mind for other events as they come up. Your price is right and your talent is awesome."
-- Glenda Hibbert


"David – My son, Bryan, and I just enjoyed watching / listening to you play the lunchtime concert at the McLean County History Museum. We sat by the door and ate our lunch. We hated to have to leave before you were finished. What a treat that was! I took him out of school a bit of extra time to stay and listen. He just got his first guitar last Christmas and just started lessons over the summer. He really loved your music and I am thrilled he was exposed to your wonderful sound! We’ll have to purchase some CD’s for Christmas! THANK YOU so much!"

-- Deb Pauken


"Thanks for a wonderful performance. Everyone attending the show was delighted with the music. The turnout was excellent and the board of St. Johns UCC sincerely appreciates the money raised for our general fund. This really showed what could be done with our new facilities. You and the band were absolutely wonderful to work with and I sincerely appreciate your coordinating the effort."
-- John Sutter - Board President, St. John's United Church of Christ


"You guys should be on the main stage next year!"
-- An anonymous fan after hearing David and Brian Stear perform in the Education Tent at the Luther Allison Memorial Blues Festival


"We had David play at our annual lawn party. Everyone enjoyed him and his music so much that he will have to become part of the annual event. The music was great and everyone loved that he did requests. Thanks for a great evening!"
-- Terry and Jacqui Foster


"We should be the ones thanking YOU. We really appreciate having you at the farmers' market. The music was incredible! The harmonica (Brian Stear) added a whole new element to the performance! Thanks again for playing for us Saturday. Every time you play, it seems like you bring something new to the experience. I'll be looking forward to August 26!"
-- Elaine Sebald - Downtown Bloomington Farmers' Market Staff


"Dave, Thanks for playing in the gallery. The music and sound was great! You played a great mix and had delightful interaction with the audience. Everyone had a wonderful time! We should do it again soon. Thanks again."

-- Phil Donelson, Studio 222, Fine Art Gallery and Meeting Place


"Dave, Just wanted to thank you for such a great job playing at our (wedding) ceremony! It was beautiful and everyone commented on how perfect it was to have something like that for that setting. I feel like I was so busy and rushed taht I didn't get a chance to really talk to you. But please know we appreciate you being a part of our special day!"
-- Brad and Ellie Melton


"We really appreciate you helping us last night (at the annual LOMA Award Banquet). You did a great job, and your music was definitely appropriate for our setting. I'm not sure when exactly we'll ask you to play again, but we'll definitely ask again. We only have two formal events a year and we're "supposed" to rotate our music choices. We have a list of 5 musicians, but don't be surprised if you get (another) call this year. Hopefully whenever it is you're available."

-- Ron Bond, President, Cental Illnois LOMA


"Thanks for playing today!! The money raised for Adopt-a-Family (from your donated CDs) is greatly appreciated, and your contribution to holiday spirit was awesome! I always love hearing you - you sounded great!
-- Kristi Rush - State Farm Ins Cos.


"We wish to sincerely thank you for providing musical entertainment for or 2005 Bowswer Bash event. Your (performance) helped provide the right atmoshpere for our largest event of the year.... We hope that it will be possible for you to participate again. You would have fans waiting for you!
-- Pamela Sweetwood - Humane Society of Central Illinois


"Thank you so much for your willingness to play at the Easter Seals Grape Soiree. The committee was ecstatic to have you return for another year. You are a perfect fit for The Grape Soiree, with the right amount of energy to carry us through the evening. We look forward to having you next year if you are available!"
-- Stacy Mavec - Easter Seals Grape Soiree


"Just wanted to thank you for playing for the private party the other night. They really enjoyed it and Paul thought you sounded really good. He asked me to see if you were interested in playing as an opening act for Hip Pocket. It is our last outdoor concert and we would love it if you could join us."
-- Candy Allen - Mackinaw Valley Vineyard


"Thanks for the lesson, Dave!"
-- Bill Porter - local rock/blues icon after hearing David play "Embryonic Journey" at Schooners


"The David Berchtold Trio gave the Downtown Bloomington Farmers’ Market a rousing wake-up call. David’s intriciate fingerstyle guitar sound – incredible enough by itself -- took on new depth and drive when backed by Joe Weisenfelder’s rich, energetic bass and Todd Ward’s rock-solid percussion. The DBT’s 9 a.m. performance proved it’s never too early in the morning for really great rock (or folk, blues, and gospel, for that matter)!"
-- Elaine Sebald - Downtown Bloomington Farmers' Market Staff


"Thanks so much for your performance Saturday. What a great sound you three have! We’ll see you July 30th!"
-- Leslie Freehill, Downtown Bloomington Farmers' Market Staff


"I would like to thank you and your AWESOME Trio for making our official Grand opening a tremendous success. We had a great time and we have received numerous praise for having you play at the store. Looking forward to getting you guys back and jamming!!!!! "
-- Chuck Venable, Owner T.C. Buzz Coffee Co., Bloomington


"I cannot tell you how much we appreciate you playing for us David. You took our store to level I always hoped it would be and in a short amount of time, that cool and trendy coffee shop with great feel and the coziness of old."
-- Chuck Venable, T.C. Buzz Coffee Co., Bloomington


"Hey let u know how much u have inspired me to continue to play harder. Ever since i met u (at T.C. Buzz) i was so determined to buy an acuistic for sure. Thank you so much and I love your cd. I will tell my freinds about u. They will love it."
-- 2005 email from Marshall


"David, Once again, you ROCKED! Hope you enjoyed the surroundings, some food, some drink…and the GREAT applause you received from everyone! Great music as always………. many, many thanks. I'll get with you soon, but wanted you to know how much we enjoy and appreciate your talents."
-- Jenni Bateman, Timbre Point Outdoor Center


"Folks loved your music. We thoroughly enjoyed having you play at the Trout Lily Cafe, and look forward to listening to you again."
-- Kate Hawkes, Owner, Trout Lily Cafe, Springfield, IL


“You have a great, fun act.”
-- Tom Duncanson, President, Boneyard Blues Society of Champaign

Performance Reviews  |  CD/Song Reviews

"Parchman Farm is so intricate and so well done, it belongs in everybody's Blues playlist!"
-- Skyy Dobro, Friends of the Blues Radio Show, 1.1FM WKCC radio


"Hey David, I went to Chicago yesterday and I listened to your CD Things I've Seen again and again. The more I listened, I more I liked it. Your playing is so sophiscated. (...) Also, your voice is so magnetic and carries a lot of history. I LIKE YOUR PLAY. I will go back to Borders to buy the second CD and have you sign it!"

-- Bing He, Bloomington


"I got your awesome cd, David, Live On GLT. Thank you for sending it! I would love to discuss promoting it for radio with you."

-- June Caldwell, Bryan Farrish Radio Promotions


"Just wanted to drop you a note to let you know that I have recently recieved a copy of you CD "Things I've Seen" and have been really enjoying fact it has been in my car stereo for the last week straight...I really like the "A Major Jam"...all in all a great disc...I see from you latest post that you are working on another...Can't wait... "
-- Chris from Vermont


"Serenity" receives Acoustic Track of the Week award at


"This song reminds me of a long drive in the summertime with the windows rolled down. Great guitar picking! I love it!"
-- Reviewed of "Serenity" by jordanbarnett from Monroe, Michigan


"'Things I've Seen" is a wonderful collection of finger-picking folk music."
-- Jessica Cochran of


"Few guitarists present their material in such a way that I find myself captivated, hanging on every note. David Berchtold has the rare ability to combine musical talent with heart and soul."
-- Mark Lush of (Read the ).


“This is excellent acoustic fingerstyle work. DO NOT change a thing in what you are doing. It is perfect.”
-- Delta Frank Black - WGLT Blues DJ


“I listened to your (demo) CD and liked it. I listened to it again and liked it even more.” -- Bobbi Ann "B.A." Lemons, BLUES NEWS Editor for the Blues Blowtorch Society of Bloomington "Oh, this is beautiful.... Just listening to the first song... Love it!"
-- Rebecca Zimmerman