Berk Bryant

Bluegrass Beat
By Berk Bryant

November , change is happening, fall is starting to really show itself. Everyone is slowly drifting into the holiday season that is peeping right around the corner. Let's get things in order, starting with this month - November , the month of Thanksgiving.

To me, Thanksgiving Day is not just another day for a big meal. It is a time for families and friends to gather in a traditional way. Some families are miles apart and all cannot make it to the table and, in this case, share the day with friends. A day to be thankful. Many seem to think they have nothing to be thankful for, and that is the moment you should be reflecting - on your past, on the present, and what you can do to change the future. We all have so many blessings of so many kinds that come in many shapes and sizes that we all to often completely overlook. Take a look around and be honest about what could be worse - a lot. How did we get where we are and how will we get to every tomorrow.

Fall Fund Drive

October was a busy month. WFPK - well, Public Radio Partnership - had its fall fund drive. All I have heard at this time is that it surpassed the best we've ever had and now sits in the top spot. I do not know how Sunday Bluegrass made out, but if I know you folks you held your own and kept us on the schedule. MY thanks to all, no matter who, no matter how much. ALL.

Fall Homecoming

I was at the Tennessee Fall Homecoming at the Museum of Appalachia that weekend. Although the visitors seemed to be down just a small bit, it was a great weekend. A little cooler than what we've experienced the preceding weeks, but pleasant. Many friends were there, both performers and attendees. There's always something to remember. Among those was one thing I had never seen before. One of the bands on my stage had a lady bass player, and her little granddaughter - three years old maybe - came on with them. The "little" lady was pretty good but then got a little fussy. So, grandma bass player did what any wonderful granny would do and picked her up. The little darling was happy then and grandma continued to play the bass all the while holding the little one. Pretty soon she had sat little missy ON the bass, at the top right by the neck, as she played on. Right there in the saddle. By the time they had finished, granddaughter had leaned over on grandma's shoulder and was asleep. Of course, they all got a big hand.

'Grandma' and Granddaughter

I also want to mention three guys who were there last year. I don't have individual names, but they go by Dixie Gray. These guys were fantastic. They focused on the old Western songs - Sons Of The Pioneers, Marty Robbins style. They had to do another one. I told them if they were ever in Louisville to come by my show.

More - much more -- fun was had when the Lillies Of The West from California took the stage. They get pretty lively and once again David Kannaple (my apologies, David, if I spelled your name wrong) - who is known as "longlegs" to most of the folks around here who know him - was there to dance it up. As before, one of the ladies in the group joined him in a dance. As if that wasn't enough, a darling little girl shot out on the floor to try her steps. Having watched all of this, she motioned to David to come back and dance with her. Again, my guess is that she was about three years old and having a wonderful time. Sure 'nuff, longlegs was back, and both of them grinning like a horse eating briars, having the time of their life. David picked her up and swung around a couple of times, to the crowd's delight. The ladies in the band were every bit as pleased as everybody else. A great time.

Who can follow an act like that? Leroy Troy. Follow he did, in full form. Leroy, back from Branson, seemed to be more than happy to be there. Between him and the Lillies just before him, there was the biggest crowd around stage three at any one time since I have been going there. This and the sum total of it all provided a great weekend. So much. So good.

Saw some friends from the Vine Grove Jams that were there for the first time. While this is in mind, a reminder: The jamming at Vine Grove has moved into the city hall and is now on Friday nights. I don't know how this column is going to turn out, as I am writing it on my daughter's computer in Virginia and she doesn't use some of the same programs I do. Here's hoping. With that said here's the schedule: All I have with me and all I have right now is for Shepherdsville.

November 2, The Moron Brothers and Clyde & Marie Denny. November 9, Vince Combs & ShadeTree Grass. November 16, Billie Renee and Cumberland Gap. November 23, Bluegrass 101. November 30, Dr. RALPH STANLEY & THE CLINCH MOUNTAIN BOYS (be early).

OK, all. Thanks for everything. It turned into a pretty good month and now let's keep it going. Sunday Bluegrass, every Sunday night at 8-11 p.m. Streaming audio to the world, and the world listens. Remember to be thankful and have a safe and blessed Thanksgiving Day. Many blessings to you all, and take a moment to count 'em.