Berk Bryant

Bluegrass Beat
By Berk Bryant

Spring is sprung, grass is riz, I wonder where the festivals is?

When the spring-time feeling and fever hits, bluegrass fever and festivals can't be far behind.

At Shepherdsville, April 12, the Osborne Bros. and Jim & Jesse with the Virginia Boys; on the 19th, Absolute Bluegrass and Kentucky Blue; followed on the 26th by a return engagement of Jim Simpson & Kentucky Mountain Grass with the Kentucky Bluegrass Band; on May 17, Gary Brewer and another very fine group one I like very much and play on our Sunday Bluegrass show Paul Adkins and the Borderline Band: I don't know why they are called the Borderline Band; there is absolutely nothing borderline about this group.

April 26 the Lewis Family and Jim & Jesse will be at the Gospel House in Loogootee, Ind. Listen on Sunday night and I'll tell you.

There's more to come in the months ahead. And if you look here, or listen, or both, we will try to keep you up.

This concerns a situation that has bothered me for a long time. And now that it is in print (IBMA Newsletter, March/April), I would like to pass along the information that is in that item.

Don Reno, writer of "Dueling Banjos," "I'm Using My Bible for A Roadmap," and many other fine tunes, considered by many, many pickers as the best banjo picker ever, lies in an unmarked grave. Bill Sykes (703) 342-4767 is selling copies of Reno & Smiley's Live, A Day in the Country project from Copper Creek for $8. Half of this price will go to the restoration of the beautiful headstone that was repossessed. I knew Don Reno. He deserves better and I know you will not be disappointed in the album. Don Reno and Red Smiley probably one of the best bluegrass buds ever.

In the past few weeks we are learning some mighty nice things about our program. What program?, some of you may ask. Each Sunday night on WFPL, 89.3 FM, 8-10 p.m., Sunday Bluegrass, traditional and old-time, with the Country Gentleman, Berk Bryant. Some of those nice things include an increase in listeners during the fall/winter of '90 of 600%. That is great and THANK YOU!

Some other encouraging things we are learning from listeners is that we seem to have quite a few, by proxy. It seems we are being taped and sent to individuals in about four different states that we know of. Also most encouraging is the fact that we hear about more and more young people listening to our show.