A Blue(grass) Christmas

By Berk Bryant

It is getting close to that time of the year when a number of things begin to happen. A change of pace, a sort of relaxed frenzy for awhile, moods and attitudes change, all of this for the better. The holiday season and feeling is here and, thankfully, won't go away until next year. Folks tend to take the time and opportunity to get out and do things that at other times seem to somehow lack in priority.

Some upcoming events (I'll concede one or two may have already taken place when you read this) in the bluegrass arena in or around Louisville: At the Shepherdsville Country Music Place (SCMP), Louisville's own Gary Brewer and the Kentucky Ramblers entertained on November 23. You may be reading this in time to see one of my absolute favorite groups on November 30 at SCMP. From Lincolnton, Ga., the Lewis Family. As expressed by peers and fans alike, the Lewis Family is the most entertaining group on the road today. A bluegrass gospel group, not the starchcd-choreographed, overly rehearsed type, but an energetic, very-much-alive, entertaining group. Little Roy, because of his small size, hits the stage in overdrive and never shifts down. Eighty-four-year old Pop Lewis, three sisters, one brother and two nephews, never know for sure what Little Roy will do next. If when you read this you have already missed them, do not let it happen again; if, however, you saw them, visited with them and enjoyed them, your holiday season will be just a little more complete.

This doesn't end it, for there is more to come at SCMP. December 7 will bring the return of two of the standards by which all bluegrass music is measured. Kentucky's own, world-renowned Father of Bluegrass Music, Bill Monroe, and his Bluegrass Boys, along with bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys, will again fill the Country Music Place with some of the best in bluegrass. No true bluegrass fan will want to miss this one.

There is nothing like a live show; nothing can quite replace being there. The next best thing perhaps is a video of your favorite group, if available, or certainly one of their recordings. Christmas is already casting the yuletide shadow, and many wishers have prepared their want or give list. Inexpensive, long-lasting, re-re- useable, shareable without using it up, and many more advantages, would be a gift of a tape, LP or CD of one or more of a favorite artist. Normally you can pick up an autographed copy of their latest at a concert. If not, local record stores or a number of mail order outlets.

Whether it be one of the above or any concert you attend this season, I hope you enjoy it to the fullest. Those of you I am fortunate enough to count among my listeners each Sunday night on WFPL, I will be glad to give you addresses to order some of your favorites from if you will give me a call at the station some Sunday night. A sincere wish to you for a special holiday season, Christmas Time's A- Coming, Christmas Time's A-Comin..., Christmas Time's A-Com .....