Hank Jr. Tribute
Bill Monroe Tribute
Gene Watson '07
I find myself in a great dilemma... how does one do justice to a talent as
great as John Berry without sounding like a drooling groupie, or at the very least...
redundant? I haven't quite figured out how so I can only hope that as you read this,
you'll forgive my lack of professionalism and just think of this as a
conversation... from one fan to another.
John Berry needs no
introduction to country music fans... or does he? His first #1 hit in 1994 was "Your
Love Amazes Me". That was the beginning of a long run of top ten hits for John and
ample fruit to feed his Berry-crazed fans for years to come. During his career, John has
recorded on 3 major labels (that I know of), been honored by the Country Music Association
(CMA) and the Academy of Country Music (ACM) as well as the Grammy Association. He has
proven himself as a song writer but moreover, one of the top male tenors of all time.
John had a great run as a top country star for years and then there was a lull in time
when the major radio stations only carried the "new" and more "pop"
sounding country artists, which unfortunately, found many great stars suddenly without a
major record label. Now, I don't honestly know if that was the case for John but either
way, that turmoil in the industry didn't hinder John. In 2004 he created his own record
label, "Clear Sky Records" through which he produced and recorded his music
quite successfully. He continued to tour and be heard by his fans in shows and online.
During that time, he made several albums and one sold so many copies it had to be recut to
feed the frenzy of his hungry fans.
While this was great for his already established fans, there is a whole new generation of
country fans that may not know his work so this review, for me, is two-fold... to
reintroduce John Berry to the fans of yesterday and most ardently introduce him to the new
fans he'll surely capture today. It's with that in mind that I find the re-release of his
Hits CD a very wise move.
As I pondered on how I was going to write this review, I tried to decide on my favorite
John Berry song. I failed miserably. Naturally, as a ballad lover, those take precedence
but choosing just one is incomprehensible.... at least for me. When I listen to his love
songs, I find myself falling in love.... and there's no one here but me. His voice has a
Svengali-like power to make one feel the essence of love so strongly that you forget about
everything else... all you feel is the love... or the heartbreak of love (depending on the
song). That, my friends is more than talent... it's a gift from God. A gift of a voice
that is a finely tuned instrument of a Stratavarious standard and cannot be aptly
described by mere words.
John's original Greatest Hits CD was first released through Capitol Records but he has
re-released his "Hits" CD on Clear Sky Records with an added bonus.... one that
most fans would not have thought of... the old Percy Sledge hit, "When A Man Loves A
Woman". For many artists this would be a very bad move or at the very least, a very
bold endeavor but John Berry isn't just any artist. His rendition of Percy's Soul/Motown
hit is indeed bold and John boldly nails it!
What will serve this "review" best are not the inept ravings of how I feel as a
fan but the song clips that I've created for your enjoyment... all 12 tracks! (told ya...
I just can't chose). This is a re-introduction to John Berry... the voice that pours as
smoothly as a fine wine yet sharp enough to cut the glass it fills.
© Marlene Slater (Marli)
My Kind of Country
p & © 2007 Clear Sky Records All rights reserved.
Stay tuned for John's new CD, "Those Were The Days".
The first single, "A Woman Like You" will be released to radio Aug. 20th,
The CD is slated to be released early 2008
Berry's CDs on Amazon
Official John Berry Web Site