Berk Bryant

Bluegrass Beat
By Berk Bryant

October, what are you bringing us this time? We can only guess, considering how the better part of this now past summer has been. Well, you will be ushering in Fall and very possibly all of the things we associate with it. Falling leaves, cooler weather, Fall festivals, maybe some rainy days, school things, Halloween 1/4 and that's just for starters. We'd just as well look forward to it because we really can't change it.

And now, looking back to this past month: It was quite busy.

In the Booth

One of the events I look forward to each year is the Kentucky State Fair and my day in the Ft. Knox-Radcliff Tourism booth. I spend the day doing that and meet lots of nice folks, have fun with the passers by and get to practice some of my magic with them. I also get to spend that time with a couple of my good friends who each work one shift, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon.

Fantastic "Fire"

I was invited to the preview showing of "Fire on the Mountain" at Actors Theatre, the story and plight of coal miners in the Appalachians told in song and dialog. It was fantastic. The music was very well selected and performed. The actors and musicians could not have been cast better. I hope you got to see it. I had hoped to meet some of them following the show but that didn't work out. Another part of this I should mention concerns the stage set. It too was superb, suited to the scenes in such a way that is unforgettable. Thank you, Actor's Theater, for inviting me to a great show. Oh, one little note, "Mississippi" Charles Bevel came pretty close to stealing the whole show. A tip of the bluegrass Stetson to you ALL for an excellent presentation.

Surprise, surprise

Good surprises never cease and that's what makes them surprises and good. Actually it was on the morning of September first when my phone rang at about 12:45 a.m. A very good friend was calling from the big island, Hawaii. Most of you have heard or seen me mention this friend a few times. A music friend, he wrote the book "America's Music- Bluegrass." We hadn't talked for too long and it was a good bit. It is the sort of thing that lets you know you are not forgotten and considered a good friend, even though contact other than e-mail is not frequent. Barry Willis is the guy. We met at IBMA when it was (and should still be) in Louisville.

"Bar" is retired from the airlines and spends a lot of his time playing banjo and golf, not at the same time, of course. At least I hope not. Thanks "Bar."

On the Waterfront

The August Waterfront Wednesday featured bluegrass with Kentucky Sassafras, Adrian Young & Little Sadie, plus Cherryholmes. I thoroughly enjoyed that night. It proved to be a great opportunity to meet many listeners that I probably otherwise wouldn't have met and maybe even gain a few new ones. Everyone was so kind to me with their comments about Sunday Bluegrass and I greatly appreciate YOU.

Kentucky Sassafras did their usual impressive performance, Adrian Young pleased them all and when it comes to Cherryholmes - wheeeh. All I can say here that I haven't already said about them is "Where does that lady, Sandy, get all of that energy! WOW."

Thanks so much to all of you for friendship and everything you do. You all put in the miles, you put in the hours of practice, you put on the performance that puts millions of smiles on the faces of your fans and for that you are to be commended.

It's that time again!

October 11-14 is Tennessee Fall Homecoming at the Museum of Appalachia, Norris, Tenn. Many of the yearly favorites will be back, plus some groups I am not familiar with and folks like The Grascals, Doyle Lawson, Mac Wiseman, Uncle Doc Wilhite and many, many more. I will be on stage again and I do hope to see you there.


This good news item just in: Leroy Troy is back home in Goodlettsville AND he will be at the Homecoming on Saturday and Sunday. This means he was able to get added to the program somewhat at the last minute. Oh and that ain't all. Leroy Troy No. 2 is due to arrive most any time now. Congrats, Kendra and Troy! It is always good to hear things are coming together and working out, especially when we are talking about good friends. Blessings continue.

Coming attractions

The Monday jams at Optimist Park, Vine Grove, Ky., continue. Plans for moving indoors when the weather dictates are in the works. I don't have details yet.

Shepherdsville is back with a new season of Friday night Bluegrass shows. Kick-off is Friday, the fifth, with McCoy Grass. October 12 will feature Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper. October 19, Carolina Road Band & Tommy Brown with County Line Grass. October 26 it's Sammy Adkins & Sandy Hook Mountain Boys. November 2 brings The Moron Bros and Clyde & Marie Denny.

October 13 starts the first Annual Gospel Festival at Open Door Worship Center located at 118 Spring Ridge Road, two miles south of Kentucky River on Hwy. 27S. Signs posted at entrance - go to the top of the hill. The happening, Bluegrass, Country and Southern Gospel, Fish Fry and all the trimmings (12:30 till ?) Bands: The Redeemed (Tenn.), Murphy's Echo (Ky.), The Lances (Tenn.), Leipers Fork Bluegrass Gospel (Tenn.), Charlie Smith's Group (Ky.), The Sonshiners (Tenn.) and Cowan Creek Boys (Ind.).

That's about it, friends and neighbors. Take your pick from the offerings and maybe we'll see us there. Keep the ol' dial on 91.9 FM each Sunday night 8-11 for Sunday Bluegrass on WFPK. Get warmed up for it by joining my good friend and buddy Michael Young at 6 for Roots & Boots. ENJOY!