Berk Bryant

Bluegrass Beat
By Berk Bryant

April, April, April, your showers bring May flowers, or so they say and if you look around you'll probably notice that some of them don't wait until May. Better your showers bring blooming flowers than (dirty word) snow showers. All of that is behind us now for a while, or so I hope.

A Winner At Shepherdsville

OK, last month at Shepherdsville - one of those occasions when a band is scheduled and you really don't know whether you should go or not. Well, on our way that particular night, my friend Mr. Richard Briggs was with me and we knew it was a toss-up so we said, You win a few and you lose a few and you just have to be there to know. The band was Rick Prather & Midnight Travelers, not the name listed on the flier, but it was the band it was supposed to be. That made it kind of a double toss-up. Well this was one of the times it was a winner. Everyone who was there liked this band and I'm sure they will probably be back next year.

Rebel's "Boys"

Another night and another band, this time a name many folks know - The Wildwood Valley Boys. Tony Holt, son of Aubrey Holt, is the leader of this very fine band. Aubrey, as many of you will remember, was leader of one of the best show bands on the road at the time - The Boys From Indiana. They disbanded a few years ago.

Aubrey is going to put out some of their LPs on CDs. He has one ready to come out pretty soon. Also sometime in the not too distant future he is hoping to have a three-DVD set ready. This will be taken from tapes someone sent him of the Boys.

Tony Holt and the Wildwood Valley Boys will have a new release soon also. Both will be on the Rebel label.

After-Deadline Bluegrass

Unfortunately, Bluegrass On The Ohio (B.O.T.O.) will take place after the deadline for this column. I hope it catches on big time and in a hurry. As I understand it, this event is being produced to fill the gap in bluegrass left behind when IBMA moved to Nashville. As I am writing this I don't have any reference material (a fancy term for a flier) to refer to. I know, however, that some pretty hot groups were scheduled to be there and I plan to go see for myself.

Cherryholmes

On the 18th, there was a Billy Graham special. I had received an e-mail a few days before informing that the Cherryholmes would be on it. I set up my VCR and took time out to watch. A very good bit on the family and actually confirmed what I believed about this great group. It showed their faith and their faith in the belief they had been called to this music. Starting with Jere and Sandy, who were the only ones who played at that time, Jere "assigned" an instrument to each of the youngsters and, as many of you have witnessed, they have fulfilled that assignment beyond expectations. As an example, IBMA Entertainer of the Year 2005.

Looking Ahead

Let's look ahead a little bit. I hope you get to read this in time. Leroy Troy will be at West Point on April 2 at 2 p.m. Troy goes on the must-see list and, besides that, I have it on pretty good authority that Sassafras will be there also. WOW!!

From One Extreme to the Other

April 28-29 at the Executive Inn, Owensboro, Bluegrass Returns To It's Roots festival, with the likes of Dale Anne Bradley & Coon Creek, Pine Mountain Railroad, The Grascals, JD Crowe & New South, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, David Peterson & 1946, New Found Road AND Ronnie Reno & The Reno Tradition. And now you know.

Four To Go

There are only four more shop- wait a minute, four more bluegrass shows at Shepherdsville for this season: April 7, Steve Helton & The Flint River Boys (This band made a big impression on their first appearance here last fall.). April 14, Kings Highway and The Howard Perkins Band. April 21, James Price, Rich Oldfield and Kentucky Reign. April 28 (season closer), Sammy Adkins & Sandy Hook Mountain Boys, plus Tommy Brown & County Line Grass. Don't miss these last shows.

Distant Bluegrass

For those of you who are the traveling kind, The Lewis Family Homecoming & Bluegrass Festival will be May 4-6. The usual great lineup includes The Lewis Family, Mac Wiseman, Cherryholmes, The Dillards, Bobby Osborne, Jesse McReynolds, Larry Stephenson and more. All of this takes place at Elijah Clark State Park, Highway 378, Lincolnton GA.

Happy Spring

Best to you for a great Spring that I hope is warmer than it is as I write this. May there be no thorns on your roses and when you stop to smell the flowers, don't poke your nose in the bloom that has the bee in it.

Remember Sunday Bluegrass, Sunday nights WFPK, 91.9 FM, 8-11. We are streaming again, so pass that word to friends and contacts out of our local signal coverage. How to hook up on line: Go to WFPK, click `Listen Live' and follow `Instructions.'

Now before I hit `Send,' many, many thanks to all who responded to our recent fund drive. Your calls, your pledges and your general support has much to do with keeping your favorite programs on the air at Public Radio Partnership. You can at the same time influence future programming. THANKS EVERYBODY!