Berk Bryant

Bluegrass Beat
By Berk Bryant

October. Ah, to me this is Fall, or the start of it. The weather gets a wee bit brisk, especially in the mornings. Leaves begin to take on new color and release their grip on the branch they have been clinging to since Spring. Trees, it's the time to shed your garments that shade the earth to be replaced by new ones in the Spring cycle again. October, you usually offer somewhat of a potpourri of weather and its changes. Good conditioning for us. So is getting up all of those leaves that have been dropped.

Quite an Event

October is also the month of one of the festivals I look forward to each year. And that is The Tennessee Fall Homecoming at the Museum off Appalachia, Norris, Tennessee. It is quite an event. Filled with 5 stages of music, exhibits and demonstrations of Appalachian life in the old days, made for and during the festival some of the best sorghum I've found, plus arts and crafts by Appalachian crafters. No imported cheap stuff. A great place to take family, and especially kids. Dates are October 9-12.

A note from the country side: By now you may have heard, but just in case, another of the real country guys has crossed over: Charlie Walker, Grand Ole Opry (when it still was grand) star. You might remember "Pick Me Up On Your Way Down," among others.

Stormy Weather

That was some storm that paid a visit a couple of weeks ago. Three hundred thousand 300,000 folks without power. Fortunately, WFPK didn't lose power and neither did some of our listeners. Well, they did lose the electricity to their homes, but I had callers telling me about alternative means they were using.

One caller said he had gone and bought a generator so he could listen. A former LPM staff member called to say he had a battery radio one of those kind that could be "cranked" to provide the necessary power and he was using that. I guess all that cranking would be a fair workout, for one arm anyhow. I told you that to tell you this: My sincere thanks to all of you and particularly to those making an extra effort to get their Sunday night fix of "Sunday Bluegrass." Makes it all worth while.

Troop Appreciation at Radcliff

This event will have happened when you read about it here, but a little note about some of the fine folks that are regulars at the Vine Grove jams: Stithton Baptist church in Radcliff held a "Troop Appreciation Day" Saturday, September 20. A trainee unit is selected and they come to Stithton for an afternoon of relaxation, games, food and entertainment.

Several of the Vine Grove (VG) jammers volunteered to attend and do just what they do on Monday soon to be Friday nights at the Optimist Park. By this time the jams will have moved into the City Hall and on Friday nights. That's the way bluegrass people are and the way they do things. The troops could come around and listen if they wanted to, and at this time some of them may just have joined in a little.

Another Drive

It's Fall, and lots of things happen in the Fall: Halloween, leaves, weather changes and drives. OK, you can take that as a drive in the country, but I had another drive in mind. The Louisville Public Media (LPM) Fall fund drive. WFPK fund drive. Yep, comes every year about this time and here's what it's all about: We are public radio. That means that we are listener supported. You are our mainstay to pay bills. Yep we have bills too some pretty big ones.

As you know, our programming is varied. Michael Young, who is on right before me, has a mix of Americana. I follow that at 8 p.m. every Sunday night with three hours of bluegrass, traditional country and old-time country. All 19 years have been coming to you basically free. Another great thing is that we are streaming audio. No longer limited to the neighborhood, unless you call the world the neighborhood. Be that as it may, it is a good feeling to know that there are listeners in England, Australia, sometimes Hawaii, and many areas across CONUS. And they send me emails.

Now, before this sounds like too much about me, this is what the stations in general are doing. We are broadcasting to the world. That is why we come to you to ask for your support. Only twice a year do we do this. When you do respond during the drives it is undeniably a statement of acceptance of what we do and your desire for us to continue. Bills must be paid to do so.

October Pickin'

I know that Shepherdsville's Friday night bluegrass shows start back this month. I do not have any details at this time.

Continuing jam sessions, Vine Grove, October 10, will be moving back indoors, VG City Hall, and to Friday nights.

Jamming at Colesburg Baptist Church every Friday night.

Shepherdsville City Park, Tuesday evenings at 6.

Tuesday, 5:30 p.m. at The New Silver Heights Bingo Hall, 9206 Blue Lick Road.

Louisville, Bluegrass on the Belle cruises continue through October 26. October5, Next Exit. October 12 & 19, TBA. October 26, Pickin' Time. There is the buffet cruise and sightseeing cruise. Boarding begins at 1:30 Sunday afternoon, cruise at 2:00 and return by 4:00.

Tuesday, October 21, the Bomhard Theater at the Kentucky Center for the Arts will have Blue River opening for CHERRYHOLMES. Show time 7:30 p.m. I am looking forward to that one.

October 2-5, Jerusalem Ridge Bluegrass Celebration 2008, Rosine, Ky. Thursday & Friday, Dr. RALPH STANLEY & Clinch Mountain Boys, Larry Sparks, McCormick Bros., David Davis & Warrior River Boys, and way too many more to name here.

OK, y'all, make it another great month and enjoy as much of this stuff as you can. I'll look for you, you look for me, somewhere along the path. Keep that radio or computer tuned to WFPK. 91.9 FM or WFPK.org, click listen live.

Golleee, this year is moving on. Guess I'd better be too. Maybe I can find a doughnut 'round her somewhere.