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Country favorite in DL

John Berry makes his third visit to Detroit Lakes' Historic Holmes Theatre next Saturday, Dec. 11 at 7:30 p.m. with his big stage Christmas show, underwritten by SJE Rhombus.

Berry's one-of-a-kind holiday concert combines Christmas music, as only John Berry can do, along with the country music hits his fans have come to know and love. And after hearing his "O Holy Night," you'll know why he's been tagged "Mr. Christmas."

In fact, as Berry will be the first to tell you, his current concert tour is "very much a Christmas tour, not some generic holiday tour."

A strong believer in the Christian faith, as he once put it in a previous interview, "in my house, we celebrate Christ's birth at Christmas."

"I love singing this (Christmas) music, it's just spectacular music," he adds.

Christmas music will form the second half of Berry's Dec. 11 concert; the opening set will focus more on his past and current hits -- including tunes from his newest CD, "Made in America."

Though this newest collection includes a song Berry penned himself, "Give Me Back My America," he downplays his abilities as a songwriter.

"I write some, but I don't write a lot," he says. "I have friends who are such wonderful writers, so terrific -- they just know, completely and thoroughly, how to write a song.

"Every once in a while, I get lucky and one pops out and I go, 'dad'gun, that's cool.'"

In fact, that's precisely what happened with "Give Me Back My America."

"I wrote it in like 32 minutes," he said. "It just spilled out on the table but that's rare."

Berry will be joined on stage by the six talented musicians who form his touring band. This will be their 15th year of touring during the holiday season.

"We've found this cool little niche, we tour about 25 different cities around the country, we'll play there a year or two, then skip a year and come back," he says. "It's just neat, lot's of fun -- not to mention the fans bring such wonderful goodies and Christmas treats."

Yes, Berry said jokingly, "We will work for food."

Berry hopes to see lots of families at the show.

"It's very family oriented," he says. "I think children enjoy the music just as much as the adults do."

Not only that, he says, but his talented road crew has cooked up a pretty special stage show for the occasion.

"Our crew has just done a beautiful job with the set and the lights and the video," he says.

As an example, he says, there is one song they perform during the show, "City of New Orleans," for which one of his technicians created a unique video, on his own time.

"It's pretty neat," Berry says. "They're very talented -- a really good bunch of guys."

Tickets for the Dec. 11 show are $28 for adults and $14 for students, and can be purchased online at, by calling the Holmes Box Office at 218-844-7469 or by visiting the theater at 806 Summit Ave., Detroit Lakes.

John Berry Unplugged

And if you can't get enough of Berry or his music, come back to the Holmes Ballroom on Tuesday, Dec. 14 at 8 p.m. for "John Berry: Unplugged" -- a rare opportunity to be up close and personal with Berry.

He will perform some favorite songs and new pieces, take requests and answer questions.

Though some people might find it difficult to be on the road for so many weeks during the holidays -- his last show on this tour is Dec. 23 -- Berry thrives on it.

"It's awesome, just a great time of year," he says.

Though he has sometimes contemplated what his life would have been like if he'd chosen another career, "I just don't know how to do anything else," he jokes.

"I started playing guitar in 1972, when I was 12 years old, and I just kept going," he says. "I don't know how much longer I will do it (touring), but I do love it. It's really something else to go out and play music for a living."

There is limited seating for this additional show, so call 218-844-7469 and reserve your tickets today. Tickets for the "Unplugged" show are $35 -- or $30 with your Dec. 11 concert ticket purchase. For more information, visit

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454