Bernie Glim and Country Roads
is a seven-piece Country Rock band of master musicians and songwriters led by Bernie Glim on guitar and vocals. The ensemble includes Tom Gurney on guitar, Al Joseph on fiddle, and Karen Glim and Rachel Glim on vocals and percussion. They perform 250 - 300 dates a year at clubs and festivals throughout the Chicagoland and Midwest area. Their new CD, "Playin' to Win" was released in June 2007 on the Sugar Island label.
Bernie John Glim, born in Blue Island, Illinois, received a cherry-red SG Junior at the age of twelve and has been performing ever since. His formal music studies included work at the American Conservatory of Music and the Chicago Conservatory of Music. He performed in Chicago's Free Street Theatre, Pheasant Run Theatre's production of Godspell and Drury Lane's I'm Getting My Act Together and Taking It on the Road. Through the seventies, he toured the U.S. as an opening act for ELO, Styx, B. J. Thomas, ShaNaNa, Cheech and Chong and other national acts. As the guitarist for the Executive Inn in Owensboro, Kentucky, Bernie developed his jazz chops and played charts for touring stars -- Bobby Rydell, Engelbert Humperdink, Al Martino, Charo, Frankie Avalon and others.
He developed a strong following in the club circuit with his own band, Selah, in the 80's, then moved on to do solo club, festival and concert engagements. In 2002, he began a collaboration with Tom Gurney on guitar and Al Joseph on fiddle.
Glim has written, arranged and produced two albums of original work under the Sugar Island label, the first in 1989 titled "Hey Boys, I Wanna Play" and the June 2007 release, "Playin' to Win".
His warmth, humor and ability to engage audiences of all ages has gained him a loyal following. His collaboration with master musicians Tom and Al, along with his songwriting wife, Karen, and daughter Rachel, has produced a powerful and patriotic concert presence that continues to expand his fan base.
Tom Gurney, guitarist, hails from Chicago Heights, Illinois. Singing with his high school choir and barbershop quartet hooked him on music and set the groundwork for the harmony and rhythm evident in his guitar playing. His attention to lyrical content and ability to create signatory counter-melodies got him playing shows with Freddy Fender, Alabama, David Allen Coe and others. In 1981 he founded the Country Roads Band and played fairs, fests and concert halls throughout the Midwest. In the 90's, Tom and his band were playing music behind US99's John (Katman) Katzbach, whose parodies of the latest country hits were packing the venues. In addition to country rock, Tom's soulful blues playing earned him a shared stage with Chicago legends Buddy Guy, Biscuit Miller and Ronnie Baker Brooks. Since they joined forces, Tom and Bernie have been performing together nonstop for audiences of all ages.
Al Joseph, a native of Park Forest, Illinois, began his music study at the age of nine and was inspired by the works of Stephan Grapelli, the great gypsy violinist, and the innovative Jean Luc Ponty. By the time he attended the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago, he was well on his way to establishing his own style. After graduating from Prairie State College with an associate degree in business and music, he performed with the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra and with a wide variety of ensembles, including Country Roads. He enjoys studio recording work and teaches private violin lessons with the Homewood-Flossmoor Suzuki Strings and at Melody Mart in Homewood, Illinois. Whether playing J.S. Bach or Johnny Cash, creating soaring rock solos or burning up hardcore bluegrass, Al always brings it on.
Karen Larson Glim, songwriter/vocalist/percussionist/keyboardist, grew up in the heart of the Red River Valley. A native of Fargo, North Dakota, she moved to Chicago to study music composition and film at Columbia College. She met her husband in a recording studio and she and Bernie have been collaborating ever since. She brings a background of classical and contemporary sacred music to the band and her rich harmonies weave a textured backdrop for their songs. Karen holds a Masters in Music Education, is a church music director, and teaches middle school music, choir and dance.
Rachel Glim, vocalist and percussionist, is the youngest of Bernie and Karen's four children. She has been singing since her high-chair days and will soon complete her studies in Music Education and Theatre Arts at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois, where she leads worship with her chapel band. She is also an accomplished actress, having performed in over thirty productions. She is the assistant director and co-producer of an independent television series "C.I.S. Mokena" scheduled to shoot in the South Suburban Chicagoland area in Summer 2008.
Bernie Glim and Country Roads