Berk Bryant

Bluegrass Beat
By Berk Bryant

What kind of weather have we been having? More ups and downs than a Yo-Yo. I hope by the time this hits the streets, it will have settled down and be running on seasonal control. Summer is due. May was busier than a honeybee in a clover patch and it's looking like it's going to continue into June.

Recent Concerts

I had the opportunity to see the Kingston Trio at the Palace Theater with the Louisville Orchestra on April 28. The first half of the evening, the orchestra played and then the "Trio" came on with the orchestra. Of course, these gentlemen were not the original Kingston Trio but they were excellent. Most enjoyable. The only negative in the show from my view and some others, the orchestra overrode the Trio when they were playing together. The orchestra was much too loud and it was difficult at times to hear them singing. I don't know if this could have been magnified by being seated in the balcony or not. The trio members George Grove, Bill Zorn and Rick Dougherty, came to the lobby and were very congenial with fans. A great show except for the above mentioned.

Now from the end of one month to the middle of the next, I find myself at Forest Fest in Jefferson Memorial Forest. Obviously growing this year in attendance over last year and I feel sure it will continue to do so. I had many very favorable comments on the festival, including some from "new listeners" to my show as a result. That's always good. I will be looking forward to next year's gathering.

Charlie Louvin Visit

I had to rush from the festival to the Brown Theater to introduce Charlie Louvin at the WFPK Listener Appreciation Concert. This was an excellent opportunity to slightly renew an old acquaintance with Charlie Louvin. I met the Louvin Brothers 50 years ago during my country DJ days in Virginia. At that time, my folks would let me invite some of the artists that came to town to our home for dinner before the show. Several different ones accepted over the years including Charlie and Ira. They visited with us on three different occasions. I gave Charlie three pictures of him and Ira I had taken back then. He told me he appreciated that and was glad to get them. They were fairly good, considering they were taken from 35 mm slides. Charlie sounded better than I had heard him for years. Charlie and Ira Louvin were among the BEST of the brother duets in country music. It was a pleasure to see him and visit again.

My buddy, Michael Young - Roots & Boots, had interviewed Charlie earlier. Somewhere along the way Charlie went outside to smoke. Michael was along and Charlie had his empty cigarette package in his hand. He handed to Michael and remarked that if he threw it down they would arrest him. Michael still had it in his pocket that night and may have gotten an autograph on it.

You may have heard by now that DVDs of some of the Martha White with Flatt & Scruggs are being released. Volumes 1 and 2 are out and available. They are, of course, in black and white. The quality is excellent. It is really enjoyable to watch these and see them performing as I have many times. Their stage work was just as good as their music and should serve as "How To 101" for upcoming bluegrass bands. Perfectionism smooth and very fluid, a real treat to watch and observe.

Wallace Lewis Dies

This note is from an email forwarded from Cliff Waldron. The Lewis Family's brother Wallace passed away Wednesday, May 16 around 4:45 p.m. Eastern time. Please pray for his family and watch the website for arrangement details. Thank you, Janet McMurrin The Lewis Family Webmaster http://thelewisfamilymusic.com

18 Years Of Sunday Bluegrass

This is birthday/anniversary month for me. My birthday is this month and the anniversary thing, now eighteen years for the Sunday Bluegrass show, hat started on WFPL and moved to WFPK when we moved from the Main library to our present location on Fourth Street. It just doesn't seem that long and many thanks to all of the great friends, folks and fans that have made this possible by listening and giving your support.

River Of Music Party

ROMP is coming up this month and I do encourage all who can to attend. ROMP, River Of Music Party, by the International Bluegrass Museum in Owensboro. I am excited and very much looking forward to seeing and hearing my dear friends Wade & Julia Mainer perform. They are scheduled to play at the museum Thursday the 21st, 4 p.m. and Saturday 11 am at Yellow Creek Park. Wade celebrated his 100th birthday in April.

Other Upcoming Events Ahead

Jamming has started at Vine Grove on Monday nights 6 - 10 p.m.. Jammers, listeners and others are welcome. It is at the Optimist Park, Vine grove, same location the Vine Grove Bluegrass Festival is held in September. No amps or electric instruments, please. Festival of the Bluegrass, Georgetown, Kentucky will be June 7 -10: IIIrd Tyme Out (Fri), Seldom Scene (Sat), Dry Branch Fire Squad (Sat and Sun), The Dillards (Fri), JD Crowe (Sat), Mountain Heart (Sat), Blue Highway (Fri), The Lewis Family (Fri), Kentucky Blue and others. The 12th Annual Stringbean Memorial Festival, June14 -16 at Gray Hawk, Kentucky. ROMP, Owensboro, Kentucky June 21 -23: Doyle Lawson, Marty Stewart, Del McCoury, Berline-Crary-Hickman, Mike Seeger, Hazel Dickens, Tim O'Brien, The Grascals, Dan Paisley, Lonesome River Band, Don Rigsby, Jesse McReynolds, Michael Cleveland & Audie Blaylock, Wade & Julia Mainer, Adrienne Young & Little Sadie and many more. Hillview, Kentucky bluegrass festival, June 22 -23. Starts Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at noon. Charlotte, Michigan Bluegrass Festival, June 21 -23: JD Crowe, Rhonda Vincent, The Grascals, IIIrd Tyme Out, Cherryholmes, Lewis Family, Lost & Found, Charlie Sizemore Band, Goldwing Express, Tommy Brown & County Line and more.

OK friends and all, hope to see you somewhere along the line, drive safe and trouble free. Oh, if you don't mind too much, stay tuned to Sunday Bluegrass - WFPK 91.9 FM - 8 - 11 Sunday nights. I 'preciate it!