Berk Bryant

Bluegrass Beat
By Berk Bryant

Since the last type hit the page there have been a number of good shows locally I hope you didn't miss. One of those was IIIrd Tyme Out. Those guys did a heck of a show. I have heard a lot of groups perform a cappella, and well, but I believe this was the first time I have heard such a demanding encore reaction to that type of tune as they got for one that will be on their new/next CD. Sorry, I don't remember the correct title, which I think was something like When I Have Crossed Jordan. It was that good and if it in itself is an indication of the next release from IIIrd Tyme Out, it will be a dynamite release. Too bad you missed them if you did.

A gentleman we met a couple of months ago at the Rudyard Kipling is involved in the restoration of old buildings, in particular the 1872 Railway Depot at Scottsburg, Ind. A fund raiser will be held on April 4 at the Scottsburg High School. The show will feature a couple of outstanding old-timers as well as old-time music. If you've followed us for a while, you will have heard of one right here: Mr. Roy Harper. Mr. Harper will be coming up from Manchester, TN. It is very appropriate in a couple of ways to have him as a part of this, as he is a retired railroad brakeman. He plays and sings in an old style reminiscent of Jimmy Rogers. He does a lot of the old songs. I have gotten a lot – a lot – of favorable response to his numbers I have played on our Sunday Bluegrass program. He is also an artist specializing in, not surprisingly, railroad scenes – STEAM engines, oil paintings. Good, too!

At the same time, a lady I am very anxious to meet will also be appearing: Evelyn "Daisy" Perry. Now for those of you who are wondering at this point, Evelyn Perry is the last living member of the original Coon Creek Girls. Evelyn, or Daisy, as Mr. Lahr named her at Renfro Valley, was the fiddler. Yes, she still plays at limited appearances and will be playing at this event. All fans of old-time string music, mountain music, and, yes, hillbilly music should attend. Here is an opportunity to meet and hear, perhaps for the first time, some of the folks who had a hand in laying the foundation of our music. The Coon Creek Girls were the first all-girl band, which certainly makes them pioneers in the field.

This show is presented by the Preservation Alliance, Inc., of Scottsburg, Ind. There will also be several other local bands, including bluegrass, and yours truly has been invited to emcee this event. The show will be held at the Scottsburg High School Multipurpose Room, Saturday, April 4, 1992, at 7:30 p.m. Admission at $5 for adults and $1 for children under 12 is a bargain. I will hope to meet you there.

The gentleman I referred to earlier who is the restorer in the midst of all this is William Bean Jr. His card says Historic Preservation Consultant and Architectural Conservator, and that's a card full. Mr. Bean comes to us from Anderson, Texas by way of North Carolina, where he worked for the State Historic Preservation Office. Good luck on this venture, Bill.

Coming up in the weeks ahead at Shepherdsville will be the sons of the great Don Reno, the Reno Brothers on April 3. On April 10, Paul Mullins and Traditional Grass will be there, followed on April 17 by my very good friend Randall Hylton, an absolute one-man show and entertainer. Kentucky Blue will also be there that night and I may do a bit of magic.

To finish off the month in grand style, on April 24, Jim & Jesse and the Virginia Boys will be there. Don't miss any of them.

Good news! Sammy Adkins is back in Sandy Hook. Congratulations, Sammy and keep up the good pickin'.

The Way I Hear It

When Larry Stephenson was at Shepherdsville, we got four new CDs from him. Each two CDs contain three albums. If I recall correctly, Larry said these were done for a TV promotional, a "Call 1-800-CD-TAPE" sort of thing or whatever. Anyhow, these are by The Bluegrass Band. It's quite an impressive line-up of pickers on each one, including Larry and Butch Robins, plus. Butch Robins was a Bluegrass Boy at one time, playing banjo for Mr. Bill. Seems he kind of got this thing together and turned out some really great stuff. Two of these are all-traditional bluegrass and the other two are filled with great traditional gospel.

The traditional BG CDs, Once Again From the Top and In the Beginning . . . have thirty-nine tunes on them. There are too many to name all of them, but to give you a good idea of what's there: "Muleskinner Blues," "Nine Pound Hammer," "Wreck of the Old 97," "Uncle Pen," "Salty Dog Blues," "Roll in My Sweet Baby's Arms," "Fox on the Run" and more.

The other two CDs are Shine Hallelujah Shine, and Sacred Songs from the Early Days of Bluegrass. They contain "Crying Holy Unto the Lord," "Lord, Lead Me On," "God Loves His Children," "Get In Line, Brother," "Angels Rock Me To Sleep" and "Let the Light Shine Down On Me." All in all, there are forty-three songs on these two. My initial reaction to all of them was GREAT. Any bluegrass lover will be well satisfied with these sets.

I haven't seen them advertised on TV, but I think I did see some of them in Bluegrass Unlimited. If you are not going to see Larry Stephenson sometime soon, write: Hay Holler Harvest, Inc., 1691 Lusters Gate Road, Blacksburg, VA 24060. I don't believe you will be disappointed. I think they are available in all three formats, CD, tapes and vinyl.

Enjoy. That's the way I hear it.