Imogene Theatre, Milton – Aug. 11, 2018
Country artist John Berry has a prolific recording history and is perhaps best known for the song “Your Love Amazes Me.”
Berry has a relaxed stage presence while he tells true stories about small town life in between songs to which the crowd seemed to know every beat. He has a versatile voice that can encompass a New York-style croon, ‘60s soul, or gravel-infused country.
Whether Berry was front and center with only an acoustic guitar in hand or backed by his five-piece band, he tackled each song with finesse. The band included his wife Robin on backing vocals and their youngest son Caelan James on drums.
Berry and his wife had an easy and comical back-and-forth reminiscent of great duos of years past. After John performed Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold,” Robin quipped, “This is the only song he knows on the harmonica, but he knows it really well.” To which John replied, “I’ve got one song on the harp, and I’ve got one dance move.”
When it comes to songwriting, John admitted he missed the art of collaboration. “I miss that camaraderie with guys, just pouring your heart out.”
Attendees were treated not only to John’s most popular songs, but a few brand new ones, including a quiet acoustic song in loving honor of John’s father.
Although the songs were the focus of the evening, the story of the Berrys’ meeting with John Denver was my personal highlight of the night. “There he was, John Denver—he was seven-foot-12,” John said one of his idols. It was a wonderful reminder that even hitmakers can get flustered and tongue-tied when facing an icon.
– Nikki Hedrick
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