Berk Bryant

Bluegrass Beat
By Berk Bryant

Didn't I just do this? Summer, and time in general, seems to be passing faster than autumn leaves in a windstorm. It's that busy season again already, as if the summer wasn't busy enough. So why should we complain? After all, we're keeping up, something to be said for that at my age. Although we look forward to the different seasons for various reasons, I suppose the ones fast approaching are perhaps the highlights of the year.

October brings Halloween, a big one for the kids. November shows up with Thanksgiving, a time for just that if we take time and give thought to realizing exactly what that means. Then December and Christmas, the most meaningful of all, which has a slight ring of the old show business (not to say this is show business) saying that the star closes the show, meaning that Christmas closes the year.

Movin' In

The season changes will be taking some of the summer activities inside to await the welcome arrival of spring. Many of the increasingly popular bluegrass jams will be moving in. One specifically that comes to mind is the Vine Grove jam at Optimist Park. They will be moving indoors at city hall for the winter months without missing a beat. As I have said before, kudos to Vine Grove for their sincere, unselfish support of bluegrass music. The jams all jam sessions can be viewed as community events.

Still Going Strong

Not moving indoors but still going strong is the Tennessee Fall Homecoming at the Museum of Appalachia, Norris, Tennessee. This is an event I have had the good fortune to attend and/or participate in for at least fifteen years. Like bluegrass festivals, and this is not a bluegrass festival, but an Appalachian festival featuring music (about 90% of what you hear we would call bluegrass), arts and crafts required to be Appalachian produced, meaning NO imports, but Appalachian crafts people, and cuisine (that term just doesn't fit here, home-style cooking is better) of Appalachia origins. All of this and exhibits and demonstrations, including some of the best sorghum (made right on the spot) I get anywhere. Music on four stages, in addition to a dance stage. Oh yes, there is one little minor detail I almost forgot. It happens October 8-11. Look for me, I'll look for you. You won't find a better place to take family of every generation. The senior generation will recall many things, the young'uns will see hands-on experience of how it used to be and, well, the betweeners, they're on their own.

Operation Military Appreciation Day

Stithton Baptist Church in Radcliff has Operation Military Appreciation day as troops are available. That is, basic troops get an afternoon of relaxation away from the base. They get food different from mess hall chow, use of the gym for basketball, pool and ping pong tables, TV etc. I usually go over and do a little magic. Some folks make their cell phones available for them to call home. Got to work a little bluegrass in here somehow. None were able to make it this past month but some of the great pickers from the Vine Grove jammers have come in to just jam in the area or sometimes perform on the platform. Hopefully this is an opportunity to introduce young troopers to bluegrass music. There has always seemed to be a good reaction to the "pickers." Bless you all.

Who's Pickin'

Looks like a good time to see who else is pickin' when and where. There are jams and there are jammers; you can't have one without the other. Until I hear or learn different, the jams will be:

*Colesburg Baptist Church, Friday nights.

*Hillview City Hall, Thursday nights, 6 p.m.

*Ray's Monkey House Coffeeshop, 1578 Bardstown Rd., Tuesdays, 8 p.m. 'til midnight.

*Blue Lick Bingo Hall, Blue Lick and South Park roads, Tuesday nights, 6 p.m.

*The Zeppelin Café, 1036 E. Burnett, Thursdays, 6:30 p.m.

*Vine Grove Jams: By the time most of you see this, the jams will have moved inside to the Vine Grove City Hall and are back to Friday nights at about 6 p.m.

*Speaking of Friday nights, I am sure that C. R. Wilson's Friday-night bluegrass shows will kick back in. As of the time I'm writing, I have no other information on the schedule or line-up.

*Jerusalem Ridge Bluegrass Celebration 2009, Oct. 1-4. Featured acts include Dr. Ralph Stanley & Clinch Mountain Boys. Ronnie Reno, Melvin Goins, David Davis, Sammy Adkins, The McCormick Bros., Larry Sparks, Karl Shifflett, Tommy Brown and many, many more. Music starts at 10 a.m. That's a bunch.

Well, boys and girls, time to bring this to a close. Y'all be good and be careful now and stay tuned to 91.9 FM every Sunday night 8-11 p.m. FOR Sunday Bluegrass, the shortest, fastest and bestest three hours in radio, playing you more music than anybody. Don't let the spooks get you this month.