Berk Bryant

Bluegrass Beat
By Berk Bryant

October, are you ready for your role in the sometimes seemingly ever-changing seasons? Are you ready with your color brushes that turn the green leaves into works of art? Have you been chewing some of that gum that gives you a breath of frost? Are you holding back just a bit to come up with a sudden burst of Indian summer? Brisk nights and brisk mornings that really wake you up when you go out to get the paper? You, October, are here; there is nothing we can do about it, so we are ready. Bring what you will as you reveal the real ending of summer. And just to ease the pain for the "young'uns," you make them look forward to Halloween. Pretty sneaky, October and in the meantime you also provide us older "kids" the promise of fall festivals that we look forward to. Fess up, you are in cahoots with winter to sneak it in while we are not looking.

Hidden Hills Bluegrass and Mr. Hill

I mentioned last edition I was anticipating meeting Bob Hill and hearing about a little pickin' git- together he was working on at his Hidden Hills Nursery. I had seen Bob but had never actually met him and I had mostly seen him across the room or sitting down.

He showed up right on time and when I looked up, there was, literally, a giant at the door. A gentle giant and gentleman. I had Bob on my "Sunday Bluegrass" (SBG) show so we could talk about his place and the party he was attempting to crank up. I found him easy to talk with, as we shared a lot of interests - especially bluegrass interest. Also traditional country.

This was coming up the following weekend and I made it a point to get up there the next Sunday before going to the station. A great place, which Bob showed off at every chance in his personal guided tour via the golf cart. As far as he was concerned, the first time for this venture was a success. He is looking forward to the next time. Very casual, very relaxing and just an all-around good thing.

When you have a little time some afternoon and aren't sure what to do, ride out to Utica, Ind. and visit Hidden Hills Nursery. Take your camera. Chances are in your favor that you will run into the jolly green giant.

Strictly Bluegrass '06

Gary Brewer had his Strictly Bluegrass Festival at the Ohio Valley Dragway at West Point on September 9.

There were good acts, a good show and good weather. For whatever reason unknown to me, the attendance was not up to what one would hope for. I am sure that will correct itself next year. Let's all hope so.


Public Radio Partnership (PRP) had its Fall Fund Drive last month. I must say a huge THANKS to all of the faithful, dedicated listeners who called in pledges and made the Sunday Bluegrass portion a great success.

I was taken by surprise when I got an e-mail from a gentleman telling me he had just joined up as an "enthusiast member." He mentioned that he is new to bluegrass and country music and is trying to catch up. He records the show because he is at work when I am on. He is a rough guide and it was 1 p.m. on Monday for him. And I thought my computer was getting slow. That has nothing to do with it. The fellow's name is Heath Teoh and he signed off with "Cheers, Heath, Melbourne, Australia." G'day to you, Heath and if you get a chance, say hello to Jan Dale for us, will you?

Country Gentleman...the Early Years

When I was growing up, I didn't realize I was harboring a desire to be on the radio, with no idea I would ever be inside a studio, much less sitting there talking to myself, hoping somebody out there was listening. I felt like I had made a pretty good reach when I was on American Forces Korean Network (AFKN) for a full year back in 1965-66. Now it is still something of a dream that I can be and am, heard in many parts of the world by way of computer internet. It is a wonderful thought and carries a lot of responsibility to appreciate all of the folks out there listening and I DO! Just one lucky old guy sitting there playing the music he loves for the world. I really like to say "sharing it with you."

Really Big Show

Big event early this month, for me especially, will be the Tennessee Fall Homecoming (TFH) at The Museum of Appalachia, Norris, Tennessee. I look forward to seeing the friends and artists I have met there over the past ten or fifteen years. From the first time I attended this event, I began to build hopes of being a part of it. For ten-plus years now I have had that opportunity, as an emcee and to run one of the stages. Move quickly, the dates are October 12-15.

THF has been chosen one of the Top Twenty October events for 13 years by the SE Tourism Society. It is filled with top-name entertainers and many that should be. Music, arts, crafts, exhibits, demonstrations and hands-on experience, all of the old-time Appalachian way. The way that helped to shape our country with character, work ethics and integrity. Much of this is in the history, in the past, but thankfully not gone. See you there, I hope.


Breaking news, as the over-used term goes on TV: Kentucky Sassafras has a new CD. You have already heard some of it on SBG. It features several of their favorite show numbers. It is very well done. I thank them for allowing me to have an "advance" copy to use on SBG. I am a big fan of these youngsters for a lot of reasons. I am pulling for them all the way.

'Grass Coming Up

West Point Music Ranch USA: October 14, Gospel Matinee: Lisa Herald of Austin, Ind. and Glory Bound Quartet, Louisville. October 28, Gospel: Saturday, 2 p.m., Gospel Tide, Ashland, Ky. and Terry Dorsey, Louisville; 7:30 p.m., Halloween Show.

Morehead Old Time Fiddler's Convention, Morehead, Ky., Friday, October 6: Art Stamper Day, Tribute to the legacy of a good friend.

Mitchell, Ind., The Opera House, October 14: The Not Too Bad Bluegrass Band, 8 p.m.

Rosine, Ky., Jerusalem Ridge, Bluegrass Celebration October 5-8: Too many to name, but just a sampling: Ralph Stanley, Larry Sparks, Cherryholmes, Tommy Brown, Gary Brewer, Bluegrass 101, Doc Wilhite, Vince Combs and many, many more.

Shepherdsville: October 13, Blue River. October 20, Vince Combs & Shade Tree Grass. October 27, Sammy Adkins & Sandy Hook Mountain. Boys. November 3, The Moron Bros., plus Clyde & Marie Denny.

With that said, it's time to hit the "Send" key and get this in. Again, thanks to all for your support of bluegrass and Sunday Bluegrass, each Sunday from 8-11 p.m.., WFPK 91.9 FM and streaming audio. Bless y'all.