Berk Bryant

Bluegrass Beat
By Berk Bryant

Well, it got here finally and maybe a time for a fresh new start or ... maybe a continuation of - well, you know. Fresh start or continuation of the same ole - I guess it's pretty much up to each of us. There is always the possibility of a mix of both. New adventures you want to pursue, but still there's a lot of things we don't want to abandon along the way. Now that brings in the balancing act - priorities and realities. I think you can handle it, so I'll just leave it with you right there. Happy New Year.

This Won't Hurt a Bit

One of my "big" events this past month - and I guess I can include the year in this one - cataract surgery on my left eye. Now that is an experience. Actually it went very well, smooth and, as they like to say in these situations, no discomfort. I asked the good doctor if he was putting in an implant/lens. He told me he would be. So I asked if he could make it a telephoto lens. Said he couldn't do that. Hey, can't hurt to ask. He gave me a card with the prescription on it to carry in my wallet.

Top-Notch Bluegrass

The Cherryholmes were at Shepherdsville last month. Really did a top-notch show. I have actually seen them in performance only once. I realized even more that night how much they've got their act together. To me, they are rather reminiscent of the days when groups used one mike. They do use two but mainly focus on one. Their way of moving in and out of the mike, stage presence, timing and everything clicks like a smooth set of Swiss-made gears. They entertain. Many bands today do not have the entertainment that the earlier groups had. Keep it up, Cherryholmes; you're onto something. The best to you in the New Year.

A Look Back At 2004

A brief wink back to what I can remember of the last year. A special time in Charlotte, Mich., last June when Wade, at 97 and Julia [Mainer] played at the festival. Our buddy - yours, mine, all of us - Leroy Troy, got married.

IBMA packed its bags and rushed off to Nashville. I hope they know what they're getting into.

Dr. Ralph Stanley's museum at Clintwood, Dickenson County, Va., opened. Ralph has a song about Dickenson County.

In August, a heart attack took Charlie Waller. Charlie started the Country Gentlemen back in 1957. One of several benchmark groups in bluegrass music.

I know there are more things I could or should mention here, but it's that age thing, deadline pressure and any other feeble excuse you can come up with.

In the Area

SHEPHERDSVILLE MUSIC SHOW: THE way to start the bluegrass year. January 7, Dr. Ralph Stanley. January 14, I don't know who C. R. said is replacing Carolina Road. January 21, Kentucky Blue. January 28, Joe Isaacs and The Red River Mountain Band. February 4, Larry Sparks & The Lonesome Ramblers.

I suppose it's pretty clear at this point that I didn't have too much to pass on this time. I can't even tell you about Christmas. Have to do this the week before.

I'll tell you this: Keep with me on Sunday nights. 91.9 FM, WFPK for Sunday Bluegrass, 8-11 p.m., for bluegrass, traditional country and old-time country.

Hope you didn't miss the Hank Williams show New Year's Day.

And now, friends and neighbors, it's time once again to bid you all a safe and HAPPY NEW YEAR 2005! Guess I never thought I would have made it this far.