Berk Bryant

Bluegrass Beat
By Berk Bryant

WOW, somebody tell me again about this Global Warming stuff. For the last couple of months January in particular everybody with an unheated room has had no-cost meat storage. I think it just got completely cold and froze right there for longer than it takes a spoonful of cold molasses to pour out of a jar. Well, anyhow, this month of February holds promise. This is the month of flowers, candy hearts and those wonderfully sweet, sentimental Valentine cards and such to warm anybody's heart. "Cold hands, warm heart" is okay, but if there's really anything to that I ought to be melting right about now. So much for that, but don't forget your sweetheart, be she your mom, daughter, "that" gal or whoever let 'em know.

Breaking News

I guess the biggest breaking news of last month came out around the middle of the month. Many of you will have learned about this by now, but our favorite youth bluegrass band, Kentucky Sassafras, has been dismantled. I don't really know any of the details specifically, lurid (if there are any) or otherwise, so I will not attempt to give any here and now. I can say that I am really glad to have seen their last appearance, not knowing that it would be at the time. What happens next? Like you, we'll all be waiting to see.

Jammin' Strong

The jams around the area are still going strong in spite of the frigid weather we experienced. At Vine Grove, the turnout remained good and even exceeded some expectations at times new faces as well as regulars in both categories, listeners, pickers and those who just like being there.

Those Were the Days

Not really a hotbed of activity for the past few weeks, so I'll digress a bit on a personal note. On the 24th of January, my cousin will celebrate his 80th birthday. He has been known by Happy/Hap all of his life. Last name is Farmer, and he did grow up on a family farm. I spent most of my teen years with them every summer. "Them" meaning that it was a fairly large family: my aunt and uncle, two girls and four boys. The oldest son was a paratrooper in WWII and was killed on D-day. This was a very close family, as were all of my family kin.

I include this because staying with them influenced my music knowledge in the country field a lot. We listened to the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday night until we were old enough to date the local girls. Even that involved music, as we pretty regularly attended square dances around. As I look back I can be thankful that gas was well below the $0.50 range. Hap and I have reminisced quite a few times about those days. Among all of the other things, we both feel we grew up in the best period of our country. Neither of us would hesitate a heartbeat to do it again and would take nothing for the experience. The work, the good times, and the memories are priceless. The music was a part of this, as many times we would go to friends' homes or some of them would come to theirs and do what we do now and call it a jam. You know, you can't go back but can darn well remember.

Movin' On

OK, so now I'll get to the "schedules." Jams first: Colesburg Baptist Church every Friday night. Ray's Monkey House Coffeeshop, 1578 Bardstown Rd., every Tuesday night 8-midnight. The New Silver Heights Bingo Hall, 9206 Blue Lick Rd., every Tues. night at 5:30 p.m. until ??. And Bluegrass Anonymous is hosting a jam every Thursday night at the Zeppelin Café, 1056 Burnett, cat-a-corner to Check's Café in Germantown. They start around 6:30. Don't forget the Vine Grove jams every Friday night around 6, located in the City Hall until spring.

Moving on now to Shepherdsville: Feb. 6, Larry Sparks. Feb. 13, The Blue Tyes of Grass. Feb. 20, James King Band. Feb. 27, John Rigsby and Summertown Road, MARCH 6, Dean Osborne band.

It's pretty obvious now that this is a bit short and that's the way things are in this winter weather. It will pick up and we can look ahead to spring. In the meantime, keep with me on "Sunday Bluegrass" every Sunday night from 8-11 p.m. for the shortest, fastest and the bestest three hours in radio. Bluegrass, traditional country and old-time country from WFPK 91.9 FM and streaming audio to the world.

Hang in there, stay warm, spring is coming.