The Nashville Scene, Country Music and What it Means to be a Family in 2020 w/ John and Robin Berry
A uniquely American style of music, Country is the definitive sound of the South, and Nashville is the heart of the country music scene. Everywhere you go in Nashville, music is present, every step you take feels like it’s timed to the knowing strum of a guitar. The energy that fills Music City calls out to songwriters, cowboy singers, purveyors of folk and bluegrass, line dancers, honky tonkers and tourists from all over the world that are dazzled by the strings, the rhinestones and Western boots that reflect a genre which is always celebrating and being attentive to life’s most meaningful moments.
This atmosphere is what brought John Berry to Nashville back in 1992. Country (and its many subsets) gives musicians the opportunity to impart a timeless story while at the same time grabbing and holding up to the world a specific point in the culture. John Berry wanted to take that opportunity to capture the music and lifestyle that’s so recognizable but also incredibly, vibrantly fluid.
Country music star John Berry, and his wife Robin, have an amazing connection, their love and admiration for each other is immediately evident. They’re incredibly kind and humble, genuine in their desire to have conversations that bring people together. They joined us on Media Path this week to discuss their podcast, Faith, Family & Friends and the guests they’ve been interviewing on their new show.
Robin’s excitement is palpable when she talks about interviewing Kim Campbell, the wife of the late Glenn Campbell on her book “Gentle on My Mind”. “I didn’t sleep for two nights!” she tells us. Her joy is infectious; She speaks not just as a devoted fan but as someone who deeply respects the fragility of the human condition, someone who is grateful whenever the opportunity presents itself to form a meaningful bond. She proceeds to tell a story from the interview, about Glen and Mick Fleetwood, that further relays to us her regard for him and unfiltered delight about the conversation she had with Kim.
“Music triggers so much memory,” John says when talking about spending time with Robin’s mother and the other elderly residents of her assisted care facility. A little later on he says, Music is used in so many events in our lives that are so personal, so to be a part of that is a pretty cool thing, it can be quite emotional.” These statements ring so true and fit so comfortably in the midst of a discussion where he and Robin tell us the story of their romance and the background of “The Graduation Song” written by John in his senior year of high school. In the context of 2020’s abbreviated graduation season, the track takes on new life through a collaboration with his son.
John’s latest album is called Thomas Road, an homage to the street in Georgia where he grew up, fell in love with music and first picked up a guitar. From Thomas Road, John takes us to Athens where he played in clubs for 8 years before one memorable night where he didn’t sleep a wink, making a plan with Robin to periodically drive up to Nashville and do a showcase, which led to his first contract with Capital Records.
We talked about how the Nashville music community is supporting each other, like friends helping each other out during this time when touring is on hold, by cross-promoting each other in their social media videos. John and Robin have their own personal experience with the generosity of Nashville musicians, they share with us how everyone from Garth Brooks to Vince Gill to Travis Tritt and others showed their support at an event at City Winery when John was finishing his treatment for throat cancer. “Nashville is that way,” Robin says, “They support their people.” Those who couldn’t be there in person sent incredible gifts and heartfelt notes to them, expressing sincere apologies for missing the event and wishing John well.
For more information on John Berry, go to https://www.johnberry.com/ and follow him at the links below:
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