Berk Bryant

Bluegrass Beat
By Berk Bryant

Whee, doggies, what a September. Hot, not completely dry, and bluegrass music ALL OVER the place. I just hope I can remember all that went on. Fall is coming on and it looks like it could possibly be a little early. Well, early for the trees and things. I am just hoping winter doesn't try to show us how bad it can be. If winter is as cold as the summer was hot and dry, we might be home a lot.

Derby Dinner Bluegrass Magic

A great show and excellent dinner at Derby Dinner started September off in a good way. On the ninth there was music by Kentucky Blue and J.D. Crowe. A very respectable crowd full of dinner and enthusiasm. Besides a good show, I had the pleasure of visiting with friends, listeners and fellow magicians. David Cottrell of Kentucky Blue performs regularly and is a member of the Louisville Magic Club. Quite a few of our members turned out for the Kentucky Blue performance. J.D. turned in his usual stellar performance. I am always glad when listeners win tickets during my Sunday Bluegrass show - WFPK 91.9 FM- and it is just a bit of icing on the evening when I get to meet some of them.

Good Strictly Bluegrass

Next up was Friday and the Strictly Bluegrass Festival in New Albany. Another good time of visiting and watching some good bluegrass. Enjoyed time with Ralph and a good friend I hadn't seen listed on the fliers, Dean Sapp. Met the Fritz Family and got a little better acquainted with them.

Bluegrass Lands at Farnsley-Moorman

Although the Strictly Bluegrass Festival was going Saturday, I had a commitment at Farnsley-Moorman Landing. It was a couple of good days, even though it rained, with Kentucky Blue, Storefront Congregation and Leroy Troy. Leroy played both days, Saturday and Sunday, on the Spirit of Jefferson cruise. I had asked him and he consented to stay over Sunday night and be on Sunday Bluegrass. It was, for me, a most enjoyable weekend.

And On to West Point

Leroy played Saturday night at Music Ranch USA, West Point. I am sure he will be back there when it can be worked out. He really made a hit with the audience that night, an audience who, for the most part, were seeing and hearing him for the first time. There was a lot of feedback both at West Point and on Sunday night following his part on my show. Come back, Leroy. I should mention also it was very good seeing his folks, Francis and Wallace Boswell, again.

Tennessee Fall Homecoming

October is another bluegrass-packed month. For starters, The Tennessee Fall Homecoming at the Museum of Appalachia is Oct. 10-13. A few "headliners" and many, many great pickers that you may not ever get a chance to see, hear and enjoy except here.

A few of the headliners for this year are Dr. Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys, Mac Wiseman, Doc Watson (for the first time), The Lewis Family, Raymond Fairchild, Kenny Baker & Josh Graves, Rhonda Vincent and Mike Snider. Many annual favorites such as Goins Brothers, Marilynn Powell-Greene, Old Time Music Group, Mr. Roy Harper and Johnny Bellar, The Stewart Family, Ramona Jones, Claude Lucas, Will Keys, and Leroy Troy.

There are many more. It is one of the biggest and best shows of this nature I go to. As if what I have mentioned wasn't enough, there are most interesting demonstrations of the "old ways." Exhibits, true (no imports) Appalachian arts and crafts, dancers, jammers and good food products to take home. Some of the very best sorghum I find anywhere. If you have never been, this is your year. And if you have, well I just don't have to tell you.

IBMA World of Bluegrass

As I said, October is a whirlwind of bluegrass. The Homecoming ends on Sunday, the 13th, and IBMA starts Monday, the 14th. It's just like storing up for a winter's hibernation. At the Galt House it is bluegrass saturation for a week. There is, of course, the trade show, showcase shows, awards show, Fan Fest and never-ending picking/jamming in the lobby, halls, rooms, stairwells, elevators and perhaps some yet undiscovered areas. Your favorite artists and stars are all over the place. Let's not forget workshops and seminars. How can you go wrong in October!

And There's More

· Music Ranch USA, West Point: Oct. 4, Gospel with the Music Ranch Gospel Trio. Oct. 5, Theresa Dunn and C.T. Robinson guests. Oct. 11, Bluegrass series kick-off Blue Tradition. Oct. 12, Trica Halsbog and Grant Bennett guests. Oct. 18, (BG) The Puny Pickers, W. Va., Jory Hutchens. Oct. 19, Jordan Leigh Young and Jory Hutchens guests. Oct. 25, (BG) Bluegrass 101. Oct. 26, The Kentucky Sisters & Jimmy Jack Escue guests.

· Locust Grove Music Festival, (10:30 a.m.-8 p.m.) 561 Blankenbaker Lane, Louisville: A mixture of music cultures, including Homer Ledford & Cabin Creek, Inquire Within and Gary Brewer & Kentucky Ramblers.

· C R Wilson Bluegrass at Shepherdsville: Oct. 25, Tommy Brown & County Line Grass and Gene Thompson & Crossties.

· Bluegrass Jam every Wednesday sponsored by Bluegrass Anonymous, hosted by Mike Bucayu at Bluegrass Brewing Company on Shelbyville Road, 7 p.m., 899-7070.

Information on Bluegrass Anonymous:

Tune In

I encourage you again and continuously to tune in to Sunday Bluegrass, WFPK 91.9 FM, 8-11 p.m. each Sunday. Never know what you might miss. We are streaming on our web site, Click "listen now." It's the shortest, fastest and bestest three hours in radio. Bluegrass (traditional), traditional country and old-time country.