Grammy winning singer/songwriter, John Berry, celebrated his 60th birthday performing in Panama City Beach and the 40th Anniversary of his first album, which he self-released on vinyl and titled it Humble Beginnings in September 1979. He wrote all of the songs himself. The musicians that joined Berry on Humble Beginnings were some of Berry's dearest friends. His band consisted of Dick Falcone on bass guitar, Mark Ensley on drums, and Perry Barton played piano and background vocals. The album was recorded and re-mixed at The Basement, Chamblee, Georgia with piano tracks recorded at Landmark Christian Church, Doraville, Georgia. There is a picture of the little studio on the back cover. Along with recording there, Perry and John would load the gear into his van and set it up late at night at his old church and use their wonderful grand piano. It was this first album that started a tradition to always place a clock somewhere in the cover of the album with the time set at the release number. A limited number of the collectors edition of the original vinyl is available at johnberrystore.bigcartel.com.
Berry’s early music was influenced by Cat Stevens, John Denver, Harry Chapin, Kenny Loggins and Neil Young, no traditional country artists were on his radar at that time, but his sweet-sounding tenor made the most of his country-flavored pop material with all its well-rounded edges.
“I started playing acoustic guitar in 1972 and I didn’t grow up listening to country music,” Berry admits. “But my music lent itself to that marketplace.”
The project is comprised of ten songs, written by John Berry, trying to put to music his heart as a young man. "I can honestly say that I didn’t have any idea what I was doing, but I did have my dear friend and fellow musician, Perry Barton, right there beside me as we tried to figure it all out. If nothing else it was a great learning experience and I wouldn’t trade the time we spent working on these projects at The Basement for anything. That little studio, as primitive as it was, was a place that I really learned who I was, and who I wasn’t." reflects Berry. "It’s hard to believe it was 40 years ago. Hopefully I’ve grown!"
His third album, Waiting For You, is also being made available. These two vinyl albums are the only remaining original vinyl records before he signed a record deal. By late 1981, Perry had joined a great Atlanta band, The Joe Band. "They were so flippin’ good!!! I would go to hear them play as often as I could. I was a bit of a nuisance I’m sure, but I loved to hear those guys play," exclaimed John Berry. The Joe Band lent their talents to the making of Waiting For You. Berry explained his reasoning, "Growth was certainly going to happen when you have talented people with you. I was still trying to learn how to write songs and how to sing without sounding like I was singing in a choir!" The Joe Band, comprised of Jody Worrell, Ken McNeil, Jim Durand, Perry Barton, and Michael C Steele became good friends of Berry and eventually, Steele left that band and came to play in Athens, Ga with Berry in the Spring of 1985 and has continued to play in John's band today. More information on this album is available at www.johnberry.com.
Berry added, "Not all history is pretty, but it’s mine. I own it. It’s how I got here. I hope you’ll enjoy the journey back in time, if nothing else it will help you appreciate (and be thankful for) the present even more!"
John Berry – Humble Beginnings Tracklist:
If I Ever Do Get Famous
Old John Brown
Song For October
Call Me Crazy
To Make You See
During the 1980s and early 1990s, Berry worked the Atlanta club circuit and released five more independent albums. His breakthrough came in 1993, when his first album on a major label, Capitol, went platinum with sales of more than 1 million copies. He followed that with a second Capitol album, “Standing on the Edge,” which included the hit song “Your Love Amazes Me.” “Your Love Amazes Me” went to No. 1 on the country music charts, earning Berry a Grammy Award nomination and other honors. Another cut from that CD, “Standing on the Edge of Goodbye,” was also nominated for a Grammy.
Catch John Berry on tour as he wraps up his 2019 tour and prepares for his 23rd Annual John Berry Songs and Stories Christmas Tour.
2019 Tour Dates:
9-19-19 - Sugar Hill, GA - The Bowl at Sugar Hill
10-20-19 - Hilderbran, NC - Central Baptist Church
10-24-19 - Alexander, AL - Benjamin Russell HS The Heart Behind the Music Series
2019 Christmas Songs and Stories Tour:
11-22-19 - Marietta, GA -Marietta Performing Arts Center
11-23-19 - Lynn Haven, FL - Gretchen Scott Nelson Performing Arts Center
11-24-19 - High Point, NC - High Point Theater
11-29-19 - Shipshewana, IN - Shipshewana Event Center
11-30-19 - Washington, IN - Washington High School Theater
12-1-19 - Chillicothe, OH - Majestic Theatre
12-3-19 - Ironton, OH - Ironton High School Auditorium
12-5-19 - Jeffersonville, IN - Jeffersonville Plaza
12-7-19 - Detroit Lakes, MN - Historic Holmes Theater
12-9-19 - Big Rapids, MI – Williams Auditorium Ferris State University
12-11-19 - Newberry, SC - Newberry Opera House
12-12-19 - Wilkesboro, NC - Wilkes Community College
12-13-19 - Albany, GA - Albany Municipal Auditorium
12-14-19 - Watkinsville, GA - Oconee County Civic Center
12-16-19 - Augusta, GA - Imperial Theatre
12-17-19 - Gainesville, GA - Pearce Auditorium
12-18-19- Dothan, AL - Dothan Opera House
12-19-19 - Breman, GA - Mill Town Music Hall
12-20-19 - Tifton, GA - Tift Theatre
12-21-19 - Macon, GA - The Grand Opera House
12-22-19 - Gallatin, TN - The Palace Theatre
The current single, “The Richest Man,” continues to make an emotional impact with fans and receive rave reviews. It is no surprise that John Berry quickly sells out venues all over the country. The Entertainment Nexus once described the award-winning entertainer as "one of the most remarkable voices in music."
The current album by John Berry, Thomas Road, is available on digital formats for streaming and download here and can be ordered from his website
For the latest information, keep an eye on www.johnberry.com.