Berk Bryant

Bluegrass Beat
By Berk Bryant

Springtime is busting out all over. And ain't it a sight for weary eyes. WOW, look at the yellow forsythia, the redbud trees, the dogwoods, the buttercups, the green grass ¼ I knew there had to be one little glitch in it. We feed and water the Green, Green Grass of Home and what does it do? GROWS! Then what do we do? CUT it and it grows and we ¼ yeah, OK, the cycle repeats itself ¼ till late fall and the leaves have covered the ground and the grass. And so it goes.

But there are benefits in amongst all of this cycle stuff. We don't have to wear everything we've got to go outside. Never have to shovel an inch of that wonderful sunshine or refreshing summer showers.

What else can we do? Go to bluegrass festivals, visit friends of like persuasion and see all or many of your favorite artists. YEAH!!!

Starter Grass

One good starter will be at Bardstown, June 3 and 4. Bluegrass 101 has taken the festival at White Acres Campground - Bardstown Bluegrass Festival. For starters, David Davis and The Warrior River Boys, Stringtown, plus a young group from Bardstown. This IS NOT a complete list; it's just all I have here at deadline time. More information from Pamela Waldridge at 502-507-5449 or 502-252- 9004. E-mail .

Another "sumpum -a-nother"

It goes on every Saturday and Sunday at the American Flea Market, north of Louisville, at the Memphis exit. Children, parents, grandparents gathering to play gospel, bluegrass, mountain and country. You're invited to bring your instruments, voices and join right in for a mighty big jam. Jam from 9-5 every weekend. I'm told lots of passing truckers stop in for a break and maybe pick a few. Meet new folks, make new friends. It is handicapped accessible.

Springtime Pickers.

Springtime brings out the singing of the birds and the pickers. Louisville springtime brings many regular pickers, jammers, beginners, intermediate and pretty good friendly folks together. When do they do this? Every Thursday around 5 p.m. Here's your chance to be a part. You're welcome. The directions: Come to the Korean War Monument and turn in to a fest.

Well, now that this has turned into a bit of a "where it's at" piece ¼

Some More to Come:

Bluegrass Festival of Friendship, Old Mill Campground, Friendship, Ind., May 12-14. Cherryholmes, Lewis Family, The Wright Sisters, James King Band, Born Again, The Wildwood Valley Boys, Aubrey Holt and others.

Dr. Ralph Stanley's 35th Annual Memorial Weekend Bluegrass Festival, May 26- 28, Hills of Home Park between Coeburn and McClure, VA. Dr. Ralph, Larry Sparks, Rhonda Vincent, The Lewis Family, Gilian Welch w/David Rawlings, Norman and Nancy Blake, Jim Lauderdale and others.

New Festival in Brandenburg

Gary Brewer had the first of what is expected to be an annual festival at Doe Run Inn, Brandenburg, Ky., last month on the 8th and 9th. It's called Hillbilly Jamboree and, like the Strictly Bluegrass Festival in September, is free.

First one got off to a fair start and I'm sure will pick up momentum in the next years' shows. I had some good comments. One gentleman I was talking with said something to the effect that "there should be more people here." This is some of the best music I've heard and had I known it was going to be this good, I have some friends I would have brought. David Davis and the Warrior River Boys were on at the time.

The Cagel Family from North Carolina were there - my first experience with them. The dad, mother, two daughters and a son, all playing together and well. I have their CDs and will be using them on Sunday Bluegrass. Nice folks.

Shepherdsville Grass

When things can go wrong they will. Expecting to see one of our favorite groups at Shepherdsville on the 14th last, we waited and waited. There was speculation that they were possibly tied up in construction on I-65. The minutes passed and, as a filler, a group who were jamming in the parking lot were invited in to perform on stage. They proved to be not bad. Finally the obvious struck: The Lewis Family wasn't going to get there. C.R. [Wilson] had made a call and found out there had been some sort of scheduling foul-up. Not a favorite thing, but sometimes it happens and happens to the best. I remember many years ago back home a similar thing happened to Bill Monroe. That show also had Lonzo and Oscar. I think they did a little more than scheduled.

OK y'all, that's about enough for this round. Now you have a good start on the festival season, so get out there and go. Keep tuned to Sunday Bluegrass, 91.9 FM, WFPK and streaming audio from Time, of course, is 8-11 p.m., following my compardre Michael Young's Roots and Boots, 6-8 p.m.