Berk Bryant

Bluegrass Beat
By Berk Bryant

March winds gonna blow all my blues and snow and ice and cold away. Blow, winds, blow. You know, it just occurred to me - you don't hear much about March being kite-flying time. In fact, you don't see kids, or anyone, flying kites anymore. Don't even see them in stores anymore. The neighborhood kids used to have quite a time kite-flying. Guess now the old expression "Go fly a kite" doesn't have much wind in it anymore. Well, anyhow, March really brings us closer to spring and a real guessing game of what its weather will be. Either way, the bad doesn't last long and the good is more than welcome. Bring it on!

Bring on the Scramble

Yeah, bring it on. April 4, to be exact, will bring on a Band Scramble at the Vine Grove jam. Where did March go? Will get back to it in a moment but need to give a little advance notice in case you don't see the April column in time.

We were all introduced to a band scramble at the Vine Grove Bluegrass Festival last year. All of the participants sign up and put their name in a bucket labeled for whatever instrument they play. When it's time to scramble, bands are picked by drawing one name from each bucket until a band is formed. The band then has 15 minutes to pick designated songs, get acquainted, tune and "rehearse." After this, they give a 15-minute performance. Tests everyone's skill and is a lot of fun for all.

Turned out pretty good. It seemed that some of the pickers held off entering last time so they could see how it was going to go. Sooo, come join in as a picker or a cheerleader.

Sparks at Shepherdsville

Larry Sparks started February off at Shepherdsville with a good show, as usual. He did a lot from his new CD.

Enjoyed a little visit time with Larry and especially enjoyed introducing a friend to him - a friend I used to work with at Ft. Knox, John Butler, who is getting up to speed in the bluegrass world. It was his first time at Shepherdsville and I'm sure it won't be his last trip. He is looking forward to meeting a lot of the bluegrass pickers.

Dean and Sonny Osborn

February 8 brought Dean Osborn to Shepherdsville. I hadn't seen Dean in far too long and enjoyed the music and the visiting. I got the straight story on Sonny Osborn from Dean concerning some health problems Sonny has experienced.

Sonny didhave a mild stroke last year, I think it was. Again, I should emphasize mild. In the meantime, I had told some folks that he had had another, more severe stroke. This turned out to be a false report. Dean told me that Sonny did not have a second stroke. That is good news regarding one of the legends of bluegrass banjo.

Sonny has pretty much retired from performing.

WFPK Fund Drive

March winds will blow in the WFPK spring fund drive. As most of you know, WFPK is a public radio station without commercials and with varied programming, much of which is hard to find, if at all, on commercial radio. That's the way we are supposed to be and should remain that way.

Just in case you think what we pass along at times are commercials, they are actually brief acknowledgments of the underwriters. Underwriters that help support our programming.

Our biggest supporters come from YOU, our listeners. And that, dear friends and fans of public radio, is why the fund drives come your way in the spring and once in the fall. Your pledges, whatever amount they may be, are appreciated by all and especially by the program(s) you specify as your favorites. So, they're coming your way March 8-April 4.

A lot of folks volunteer their time during these drives to answer our telephones, get your information, see to it that we, the hosts, get this information to thank you on the air during our shows. Every - I emphasize EVERY - pledge is a vote for your favorite program on WFPK. Think about it now and prepare for your vote to be included in the bottom line at the end of the day.

You wonderful folks and friends have supported my show, "Sunday Bluegrass" and Michael Young's "Roots and Boots," over these years. And that's why we are still there and will be there as long as we can do it.

If I remember right, "Roots and Boots" has been on 10 years now and "Sunday Bluegrass" will hit the 19thyear the first part of June.

Thanks to all of you here, there and everywhere.

I Think I Can, I Think I Can

Now, deadline is approaching so fast it's like running a race when you're almost out of steam. Got a little left to tell you who's picking when and where.

At Shepherdsville: March 7, Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper. March 14, Dan Paisley & Southern Grass, March 21, Blue River. March 28, Melvin Goins & Windy Mountain and/ Tommy Brown & County Line Grass.

April will wind up the Friday night bluegrass season at Shepherdsville.

Okay, friends and neighbors, that about wraps it up for this time. March in like a lion and out like a lamb. Great! Put more water in the soup - there's better times a'coming. Put that radio on WFPK and solder it right there every Sunday night 8-11 p.m. and streaming to the world. Best and blessings to ya.