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John Berry
Clear Sky Records
Current album: I Give My Heart

Fortunately, the energetic and multi-talented John Berry is as easy to interview as he is to listen to because we were only allocated fifteen minutes with him during the CMA Fest/Fan Fair. I was really looking forward to this interview because Berry is such a personable artist and he is always working on one interesting project or another. But even after only fifteen minutes, It is abundantly clear that all those gold and platinum albums are hard-earned and well-deserved and he was eager to talk about several projects he is working on.

Berry says that while he's waiting for "just the right offer from a major label" to come along (with the emphasis on "just the right"), he decided to start his own label to keep himself busy. So these days, in addition to promoting his own career, he is also busily promoting newcomer, Paige Turner, a good friend and the first outside artist to be signed to his own Clear Sky Records label. He was also eager to talk about two of his favorite projects, "Songs and Stories" and "I Give My Heart." As if that isn't enough to keep him occupied, he says he is almost fully booked for his 2004 Christmas tour and has already started organizing the 2005 Valentine's tour. Berry plans on putting together another album and is "screening material for it now." He thinks "it may be a country album" but he isn't sure. He is sure, however, that it will be "the twelve best songs we can find."

His bio states that he grew up in an eclectic musical household. His father listened to Van Cliburn (the majestic concert pianist), his mother leaned towards gospel music and his brother became an opera singer. Berry, it says, gravitated to soul and country. Fortunately, for us, he clearly absorbed the very best aspects of every variety of music he has ever heard.

He has a marvelous tenor voice and is so capable in every genre of music; this fact has spared him the "country music pigeon-hole" curse. In fact, his last album, I Give My Heart, was primarily covers of some of the greatest, popular love songs ever written -- not really a "country" song in the whole bunch -- just perfectly sung, timeless, tunes. This fact is what allows him to be embraced across the boards by music lovers of every genre.

I've said it before, and I'll keep right on saying it because I know it is the absolute truth. John Berry is like a rare and fine wine, he just keeps getting better.

www.johnberry.net 

Feature article by Cheryl Harvey Hill

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