Berk Bryant

Bluegrass Beat
By Berk Bryant

Bustin' Out All Over

June, June, June, at last. June hails summer, and many nostalgic and romantic thoughts. June is the month of the bride, school's out, vacation, and where is the best festival? It is that time again for all of the above events to get in high gear. My own anticipation includes, but is not limited to, another birthday, my high school class reunion, and festivals I attend.

May Miscellany

A lot has gone on in this past month. Cyndi Ruff Mahler was home and paid us a visit to the program [Sunday Bluegrass, 91.9 FM, WFPK]. Cyndi brought along her sister Sara and brother Andy. Both are doing great and are regulars with their folks' group, The Sunnysiders.

The Galoots were in that same night. These guys have a couple of good CDs available. Check into them.

A couple of interesting calls to me at home. A real surprise one afternoon was a call from Eddie Adcock. Eddie was just checking to see if I had their new CD, Eddie & Martha Adcock, Spirited, if I had listened to it, what I thought of it, and would I be using it.. Eddie said someone had called it a gospel CD. He replied that it wasn't a gospel CD, that the gospels are Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, that this is a spiritual CD. (As you wish, Eddie.) I do have the CD and have listened to it. I have played it on the show and will continue to do so. I think this is, overall, one of Eddie & Martha's better efforts. Twelve songs, including "By the Side of the Road," "What Love Can't Do," "Gonna Get There Soon," "Don't Do It and It Won't Be On Your Mind," and a fine old instrumental not heard enough, "Rainbow." Eddie Adcock, Martha Adcock & Missy Raines; a very good Pinecastle release. More about a special deal from Pinecastle somewhere below.

Another welcome call came from Randall Hylton. Randall was in Virginia at a meeting with Copper Creek Records. Something to do with a new promotion plan for Copper Creek. Will pass along more when I have it. He also called to tell me why he didn't get to the station one night last month as he had planned. On his way he had developed a truck problem and thought he had better try to get on home before it got too late, and while he could. Randall did say he will be passing through Louisville several times this summer and will stop in one of those nights. That will be a surprise and special night for all of us to look forward to. Let this be a warning. Don't miss Sunday Bluegrass, WFPK, 91.9 FM any Sunday night between 8-11 p.m. You do not know who or what you could miss. Don't be left out – YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

June Jammed with Bloom(ing) Festivals

You can go from here to there, to there, to there and . . . well I think you've got the idea.

Kentucky Blue will be at Bernheim Forest, June 7, from 2-4 p.m., and at the June 11-14 Festival of the Bluegrass at the Horse Park, Lexington, Ky.

Also on the same weekend, Ricky Skaggs, Laurie Lewis, Seldom Scene, IIIRD Tyme Out, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Dry Branch Fire Squad, Lewis Family, James King and more.

I don't have all the information I would like to have at this time concerning this next event but the info will be coming via phone call one night on the show. For now, I had a call from Harold Thom, leader of The Cumberlands, to tell me they will open two shows for the original Dillards in the infield at Churchill Downs. The Dillards were The Darlings on the Andy Griffith Show. This will be at the Kentucky Sampler event June 6. Two afternoon shows. That's all I know right now.

Moving right along to Indiana and Bean Blossom. Bill Monroe Memorial Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival, June 18-21. James Monroe each day; James King, Goins Bros., IIIRD Tyme Out and others on Thursday; Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, J.D. Crowe, Gary Brewer, Randall Hylton, Eddie & Martha Adcock on Friday; Osborne Bros., Jim & Jesse, Larry Sparks, Dave Evans and others Saturday; and closing out with Ralph Stanley, Charlie Sizemore and others on Sunday.

WHEW! June is LOADED.

On to Charlotte, Mich., June 25-28, with the Osborne Bros., Doyle Lawson, Northwest Territory, Jim & Jesse, Lost & Found, Lewis Family, Ralph Stanley, Charlie Sizemore and others. Call me at WFPK while I am there on Sunday nights for more detailed information. That number (the one to get me) is 574-1753.

Columbus, Ohio, Hoover Y-Park June 25-27, Earl Scruggs Family & Friends Reunion, including Glen Duncan (fiddle), Jerry Douglas (dobro), Gary Scruggs (bass), Randy Scruggs (guitar), Marty Stuart (mandolin). Other acts include Tony Rice Unit, Nashville Bluegrass Band, Dudley Connell, Del McCoury, Osborne Bros. And more.

Closer to home: Bardstown Bluegrass Music Festival, June 18-20. Sand Mountain Boys, Silver Cloud, Clyde & Marie Denny, The Sunnysiders, Richard Jett Singers, Bluegrass 101, and Danny Jones & Salt River Boys.

Stringbean Memorial Festival, Jackson County, Ky., Oak Grove Church Road, June 24-27. Ralph Stanley, Carl Story's Ramblin Mountaineers, Bluegrass Strangers, Clark Family, Charlie Waller & Country Gentlemen, and many others. One of those "many others" is our buddy Leroy Troy. If y'all can't pick one or two out of these, stay home.

Free Trip to IBMA 1999!

Something mentioned earlier leads to this: Pinecastle Records is celebrating their 7th anniversary this year. They have a lot of good artists that we play a lot. They will be giving a free CD, On the Charts, with the purchase of any new release through December 1998. Inside each CD there is an anniversary reply card which needs to be completed and sent to Pinecastle with $2 S&H. By returning the reply card you will automatically be entered into a grand prize drawing. Grand Prize: an expense-paid trip to the 1999 IBMA, deluxe accommodations, and a private concert by the Pinecastle artist of your choice (subject to some restriction). Go for it! Look over those new releases, including the one I told you about earlier.

Lonzo & Oscar Update

Cleo Hogan, most recent Lonzo of Lonzo & Oscar, died. This, of course, left Oscar without a partner. I have been told that Oscar has found a replacement and will continue the act. The Lonzo & Oscar comedy team certainly made its mark in country music and on the Grand Ole Opry. I am not sure how many Lonzos there have been, but there were several. Perhaps the best known and one of the longest was Oscar's brother Johnny. Lonzo & Oscar's biggest hit, and a history-making hit at the time, was "I'm My Own Grandpa." If I recall correctly, Oscar said "I'm My Own Grandpa" set a record in sales in a given time period. I think it was something like six weeks or less. Given that, it is good to know that this great team will continue on. I understand that there are thoughts of returning to the Opry. There are shows to be played, and hopefully new recordings to be recorded. Our sincere best wishes for continued successes for Lonzo & Oscar. It will be great to have them back at the Opry where Lonzo & Oscar belong.