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John Berry to headline 2019 Covered Bridge Celebration

John Thompson • Feb 21, 2019 at 9:14 PM

ELIZABETHTON — Once again, the Covered Bridge Celebration will have a top name headlining its lineup of national and local acts.

This year’s top act will be John Berry. The singer-songwriter rose to stardom on the country charts of the 1990s with such mega hits as “Your Love Amazes Me”, “Standing on the Edge of Goodbye” and “She’s Taken a Shine.” His annual Christmas tours brighten the holidays for thousands, as does his electrifying rendition of “O’ Holy Night.”

The Covered Bridge staff announced the lineup for the 2019 edition of the festival on Thursday. This year, the event will be held on June 14-15. The event is presented by the Elizabethton/Carter County Chamber of Commerce and Chamber Director Tonya Stevens said “it is an honor to be able to host the talent that we have for this year’s event and we look forward to a great festival.”

For the past four years Daniel Grindstaff has played a key role in bringing a top act to the Covered Bridge Stage. Grindstaff is now an insurance agent in Elizabethton, but was a regular performer on the Grand Ole Opry who knew many of the top performers. Grindstaff used his connections to bring such acts to Elizabethton as Billy Dean, Suzy Bogguss and Marty Raybon.

In addition to headline acts, Grindstaff has successfully attracted other top entertainers to round out the bill. That is no exception this year when the audience will hear the impressions of Johnny Counterfit.

Counterfit recreates the singing voices of traditional country music superstars, Hollywood legends and comedians from the last 50 years.

Bill and the Belles will provide the audience with their fresh take on old music. With their debut album, “Dreamsongs, Etc.”, Bill and the Belles have captured the freewheeling, lighthearted approach to music that has endeared them to listeners of every generation.

“We like old music and some of us are consumed by it,” lead singer and guitarist Kris Truelsen said. “But we don't have a desire to copy it. We want to sound like ourselves and tell our story.”

No one had to search for Jeff Woods. Elizabethton is the hometown of the singer who performs soul, blues, and rock. The Nashville Scene Magazine said Woods had one of the best blues projects released in 2018 in Nashville.

Mountain Rose, from Roan Mountain, is a group that performs a mix of everything from traditional bluegrass to rock to country to gospel, folk and more.

High Test Grass is a traditional bluegrass band that formed in 2015.

The schedule for the performances will be as follows:

Friday, June 14

5-6 p.m.: High Test Grass.

6:30-7:30 p.m.: Mountain Rose.

8-9:15 p.m.: Jeff Woods.

Saturday, June 15

5-6 p.m.: Bill and the Belles.

6:30-7:30 p.m,: Johnny Counterfit.

8-9:15 p.m.: John Berry.

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