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Anthony Canter of the blues-rock band CanterBerry sings in Little Fish Brewery on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019.

CanterBerry Blues concert creates space for joy, camaraderie

A crowd of people sat between the piles of kegs and warm lighting at Little Fish Brewing Company, dancing and singing along to the musical stylings of the blues band CanterBerry Blues. 

Saturday night, as people were eating farmhouse food and drinking the distinctive beer from Little Fish, 8675 Armitage Road, CanterBerry Blues played a two-hour set complete with all the electric blues people could ask for. 

CanterBerry Blues is an electric blues-based band with four members, Anthony Canter, Kent Berry, Eric Lawson and Andrew Strickler. The group was formed by Canter and Berry, who play harmonica and guitar, respectively. The band works to blend original blues and Americana tunes with blues and outlaw covers.

Gritty vocals and blues harmonica took the lead with bellowing drums, electrifying guitar and echoing bass accompanying the group, 

All ages were present at the event, and everyone was dancing — either in their own chairs or on the makeshift dance floor in front of the band. 

Abigail Lamp, an Athens resident for the past four years, brought her parents to Little Fish because it’s her favorite brewery, and they were in town. Though they didn’t expect to see the band, it came as a pleasant surprise. 

“It’s [CanterBerry Blues] very earthy, very cozy and family-friendly,” Lamp said. “It’s a very warm feeling and very accurate for Athens.”

CanterBerry Blues is no stranger to Little Fish, as the band has played the venue before. Zach Morgan, the sous-chef of Little Fish, typically doesn’t get to hear the performances at the venue because he’s back in the kitchen but snuck out to listen to a little bit of the band’s performance Saturday. 

“They’ve played here before, but I haven’t really heard them because I’m always in the kitchen working,” Morgan said. “So now hearing them more, it’s nice to hear. They have an atmosphere that goes with the brewery; that southern rock, bluesy style definitely fits in here.”

The band stuck to its combination of originals and covers. Some of the songs it played were “Going Out Tonight,” which is an original, and “Something’s Got a Hold On Me” by the popular, genre-bending singer Etta James. 

Some people in attendance, like Lamp, just came for dinner and a beer and were pleasantly surprised with the band’s performance, but others came specifically to hear the band play. 

Though most of those in attendance were Athens residents, a few were from out of town. 

Ruth Woodward, a Michigan resident, was passing through Athens and Googled a place to eat with her husband and was excited to see the band when they arrived.

“It’s (CanterBerry Blues) really good,” Woodward said. “I’ve recognized a couple of the songs, and it’s upbeat and good to listen to. I feel like I’m on American Bandstand.”

The most notable aspect of the night was the camaraderie among the people in attendance. 

Various parties were sitting together at tables, dancing together and talking about the music. Everyone cheered for the group after every song and cheered during the songs as well.

Not only was the audience into the performance, but the band was very into it as well. With every note, chord, beat or word, the band members would smile and dance along with their music with a pure love for what they were doing. 

The joyful band, the audience camaraderie and the upbeat music all created a wonderful event at Little Fish. 


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