Berk Bryant

Bluegrass Beat
By Berk Bryant

Hustle and bustle, the winds blow, and possibly snow. It is that time when most folks undergo a bit of an attitude change, usually for the better, at least for a few weeks. It is a spirit, the Christmas spirit. It means so many things, such as another year has passed incredibly fast, friends and families are drawn together in the true meaning of the season and for that very brief period everything is quiet and there is peace. Decorations, red and green wrappings and the smiles of anticipation on the faces of children in their innocence. Embrace it.

Last month I had a note from Julia Mainer. Something that's always a plus, to hear from Wade and Julia. Among other things, Julie answered a question I have been asked several times. She told me that on the 28th of November, they would be married 72 years. "God's been good. We thank Him." That is a remarkable record these days. I feel so proud to know them. Wade and Julia have been wonderful friends to me for at least 20 or more years.

A little bit of an extension of my "Sunday Bluegrass" show last month: The second Sunday for the country hour, I had a Dolly Parton radio special. Feedback was very good. One of my devoted listeners, after hearing it, [said] she liked Dolly better than she knew she did. I think a bit of a different, insight, if you will, of her reached a lot of fans. The bit was, in a pretty low key, to introduce a new CD box set of her recordings. It includes Dolly Parton's first recording-- "Puppy Love" -- when she was 12 years old. It's a very good set.

Got a note from good friend Paul Burns concerning a new exhibit coming to the Main Library (York St. between 2nd & 3rd) this month. Sounds good to me and so I'm sharing some of the details from Paul's note. The following is an extract from the press release.

"New exhibit coming to the Main Library: A celebration of art and music of Appalachia."

Louisville, Ky. (October 28, 2009) -- For more than thirty years, photographer Tim Barnwell has been documenting the people, culture and heritage of Appalachia. His latest project is a book and exhibit that celebrates the music and handcrafts of the region. Hands in Harmony: Traditional Crafts and Music in Appalachia, on display in the Main Library's Bernheim Gallery November 30 - January 23, combines Barnwell's rich photography with intimate stories, biographies, and oral histories of the artists and musicians of Appalachia. The exhibit acquaints the viewer with banjo players, wood carvers, basket weavers, fiddlers, blacksmiths, and many more. Notable portraits include music legends Ralph Stanley, Etta Baker, Earl Scruggs and Algia Mae Hinton. The accompanying music CD includes twenty-one old-time fiddle and banjo tunes, a capella ballads, blues, and folk songs, showcasing the talents of many of the musicians portrayed. This collection of images, text, and music brings into focus a world of tradition and culture that continues to exist outside of mainstream commercial media.

"You can join Tim Barnwell for a discussion of his book and exhibit on Monday, November 30 at 7 p.m. Tickets to the book talk are free; call (502) 574-1644 or go to LFPL.org. The exhibit is also free during regular library hours." I'm planning to be there for that, should be very interesting.

SHOW TIME

Jams are still going on. As far as I know, there is still a jam at Colesburg Baptist Church on Friday nights. Also on Friday nights, The Vine Grove jams are now in the VG City Hall. Tuesday night jams in Louisville are at the Bingo Hall at Blue Lick Road and Southpark Road. No more at The Monkey House or The Zeppelin.

And now on to Shepherdsville: December 4, Vince Combs & Shadetree Grass. December 11, Katy Penn & Newcut. December 18, TBA, December 25, NO SHOW. Jan. 1, 2010 Cherryholmes. And there you have it.

OK, dear hearts and gentle readers, time to wrap it up. A sincere wish of MERRY CHRISTMAS and a Happy New Year. Don't forget New Year's Day, from noon to three, WFPK 91.9, all HANK WILLIAMS SR.

I thank you all for your dedication and faithful listening this past year and every year. May you be blessed as you have blessed me throughout the coming year. HAPPY, safe and prosperous 2010.