Berk Bryant

Bluegrass Beat
By Berk Bryant

Promises, promises, promises. I hope by the time this encounters your eyes, the promise of warmer weather - and compared to the last few weeks, that could mean anything over 35 degrees - has finally become noticeable. Could it be?! Yes, Virginia, there is a Spring and not a day too soon. OK, so if the weather guys can offer their official weather guesses a couple of weeks ahead, I suppose I can assume (and I have been taught NEVER to do that), by making an exception, that the weather is better now than the day I am writing ... watching birds flocking to the feeders and rather light snow stubbornly floating to the ground in the 20-something temperatures. So be it.

Spring conjures up visions of bluegrass festivals finally returning like the "first robin of spring" that never went anywhere anyhow. But now - now - we can get outdoors without five layers of wool and a hot cup of ... in hand. Getting time to dust off the lawn chairs, check out the coolers, make sure you've got your maps ready to head for the festival of your choice. Not too soon to begin making plans, even though some may be a few weeks away. Here are some early suggestions for a few; I don't have too many scoop sheets yet.

'Grass is Comin' Up

Memorial Day Weekend, May 24-26: Dr. Ralph Stanley's 37th Annual Memorial Weekend Bluegrass Festival. Ralph and the boys are there every day. Thursday lists Porter Wagoner, Cherryholmes, Jim Lauderdale, Lonesome Will Mullins and Virginia Crossties. Friday, Marty Raybon & Full Circle, Gillian Welch & David Rawlings, Randy Waller & The Country Gentlemen, James King Band, David Davis & Warrior River Boys. Saturday, Larry Sparks & The Lonesome Ramblers, Paul Williams & Victory Trio, Melvin Goins & Windy Mountain, Tommy Brown & County Line Grass, Kenneth Davis & The Scott County Boys, Dale Kennedy Band.

June 21-23, ROMP time. The annual ROMP festival, courtesy of The International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, will have their legends show on the 21st. A great way to get the weekend going. Featuring Wade & Julia Mainer. Wade will have had his 100th birthday. Others on the same show include, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Mike Seeger, Hazel Dickens and more. Now who could miss a show like that. Folks, I've learned in my time we miss too many opportunities we regret later; don't let this be one of them.

There's the Charlotte, Michigan, festival, June 21-23. They will have JD Crowe & New South, Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, IIIrd Tyme Out, Cherryholmes, Lewis Family, The Grascals, Charlie Sizemore Band, Tommy Brown & County Line Grass and more.

Youth Bluegrass at Museum

This past month, a new program at the International Bluegrass Museum was launched and it is bringing youth to an exposure to bluegrass in a somewhat unique way. The Girl Scouts can earn merit badges related to bluegrass. Here's the story in the words of a museum release.

Girl Scouts Can Earn "History of Bluegrass" Patch By Visiting Bluegrass Museum

Owensboro, KY, january 19, 2007: Saturday, February 10, 2007, from 11 AM - 2:30 p.m. will be "Girl Scouts Day at the Museum." This First Annual Event Will Take Place at The International Bluegrass Music Museum in Downtown Owensboro. Brownies, Juniors, Cadettes and Senior Girl Scouts Will All Earn A "History of Bluegrass Music" Patch by Participating in a Guided Tour and Instrument Demonstration.

The Brownies' Tour Will Start at 11 AM. The Juniors, Cadettes and Seniors Tour Starts at 1 p.m.. All Girl Scouts in the Region, as Well as Out-Of-State Visitors, Are Invited to Participate to Earn Their Patch, Designed By Owensboro Girl Scout and Talented Bluegrass Fiddler/Vocalist Ally White as her Gold Award Project in 2001.

"Bluegrass Music is an Important Part of America and Kentucky's Culture. We are Excited That Our Girls Will Have The Opportunity To Learn More About Its Significance As Well As Experience Owensboro's World Famous Bluegrass Museum!," said Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana Program Coordinator Kristi Harrison.

The International Bluegrass Music Museum is the only museum of its kind in the world and is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of bluegrass music for fans around the world. Gabrielle Gray, Executive Director, International Bluegrass Music Museum www.bluegrass-museum.org

Sounds like a very good program. Oh, are the boys next? Let's hope so.

This is probably all and more than you want to know for this month, so let's check the thermometer and see how the weathermen are holding up. I'm rooting for them and warmer days. Until the next round, keep listening to Sunday Bluegrass, WFPK 91.9 FM 8-11 p.m. every Sunday. And thanks. Oh, now is a good time and maybe your turn to visit the IBMM. Why don't'cha do it.