First, I hope you had a memorable Thanksgiving with friends, family and good visiting. December is here with its complete mix of everything we are involved in. For starters, it is not uncommon for a varied mix of weather. Then there is the shopping frenzy, whether it be last-minute enhanced by what to buy for whom, where to find it at the best prices, what size and what color. All of those annoying little details. That said, it is a relief when somehow it all comes together, everybody is happy, Santa paid his visit and the wrappings have settled like the proverbial dust. We mustn't forget the visits through the day from family and friends. This is all grand BUT let's not lose the perspective of the real reason we have this day, this season and not let that be overshadowed. There wouldn't be the one without the other. Need I remind you naw, I don't think so; somewhere along the line your conscience will take care of that.
It was good to have some of the Vine Grove Pickers/Jammers in the studio just before Thanksgiving. This was their second appearance to jam on Sunday Bluegrass. Not an organized band as such, but a demonstration of the art of jamming. There was good response to the visits, as indicated by the phone calls received. The sort of thing that takes place each Friday night in the Vine Grove City Hall starting at 6 p.m. Everyone is welcome no matter if you are a full-fledged picker, a beginner who will get a lot of guidance and assistance, or if you just want to sit, visit and pat your foot.
The International Bluegrass Museum at Owensboro has some new things to tell about. There are three new exhibits. I can't tell you what thy are because I haven't seen them yet myself. There are new guided tours that include live instrument demonstrations. There's always the gift shop with a great selection of bluegrass CDs, boxed sets and other souvenir items. This can also be the answer to what to get for that favorite bluegrasser on your Christmas list or any other special occasion for that matter. How about a membership to the museum. It does have its benefits. For more information, call 1-888-my-banjo or go on line to bluegrassmuseum.org. Try it, you'll like it!
A little item that comes with mixed emotions: Jory Hutchens, fiddler for Kentucky Sassafras, has left the band. We truly hope for the best for all concerned in this move. He will be missed.
December is somewhat like a swinging door. It opens the exit door to the end of another year, at the same time opening the door to a new year. Of course, as always, there will be changes. Many if not most may be unexpected changes. As of this writing, one thing that won't be changing is the annual New Year's Day Hank Williams SR show on WFPK from noon to 4 p.m.
Shepherdsville Music Place: December 7, Tommy Brown & County Line Grass. December 14, Larry & Cheryl Chunn & A Step Ahead, December 21, David Leatherman. December 28, Cherryholmes. January4, Kings Highway
Gentle readers and dedicated listeners to Sunday Bluegrass, the best wishes I can give for a great holiday, Christmas/ New Year's and what other special occasions you may be a part of this season: Keep it safe, keep it sane and count your blessings. It will be better for all. Keep your ear to Sunday Bluegrass, WFPK 91.9 FM. Merry Christmas everyone! Happy New Year '08 - new year, new opportunities. Make the most of them.