Berk Bryant

Bluegrass Beat
By Berk Bryant

Christmas time's a-coming. Well it is, and good. Oh, yes, Christmas is just a little over three weeks away, maybe less if you are just getting around to reading this. What a wonderful time of the year. Maybe you don't aspire to "old-fashioned," but I'll tell you that a good dose of old-fashioned is good for the soul. It's good for everything you do, especially at Christmas time. Yes, I'm talking about being with family, celebrating the proper way ... remembering the "reason for the season." Enjoy Santa and the spirit of the time. You may very well avoid regrets; you never know when the last one may be, or for whom

Things Happen

November 5 proved to be interesting. Shepherdsville is back on schedule and had IIIrd Tyme Out. Unknown to either venue when booked, Dailey and Vincent were also booked at the Center for the Arts in Louisville. Well, now, this proved to be a predicament for a number of fans. Here we have two very popular groups in the area, show time the same, and we can't get to both. I think it sort of proved to be a draw. I was contacted about the middle of the week to MC for Dailey and Vincent. They had a fair crowd but should have had more ... many more. I have been told that IIIrd Tyme Out had a crowd that the promoter was satisfied with, but had hoped for more. From experience, and being at the one and knowing the other, they both performed admirably. I would expect nothing less from these two groups of professionals. Things happen

Diffie Does It

Surprises don't necessarily wait until Christmas. I received a new CD from Joe Diffie. He's a country singer, right? Well, Joe has recorded a bluegrass CD. Normally, country singers just can't shed the country sound. Here's where the big surprise hit ... Joe did it. This is one of the best examples of a country singer recording a bluegrass CD that is bluegrass. You'll be hearing it on Sunday Bluegrass. I could tell that in the opening banjo notes of the first track. Liner notes said he always did want to record a bluegrass album.

All Aboard

Another new release of good early traditional country by Mac Martin and Ed Brozi came through. This one has a lot of that good guitar picking, runs and all. By the time you read this, I will have played several from it. Quite a few I can't recall having heard, and there are a few familiar ones. Train song fans will find several to their liking, such as the “East Bound Train,” “Wreck of The Old Number 9” and “Wreck of The 1262.” I said train song fans; I probably should have said train wreck songs. Twenty-one tracks in all (no pun intended), not all train songs. Here the old saw applies, I guess; they may be old, but if you've never heard then, they are brand new to you

Here's Hank ...SR, That Is

Here's a real opportunity to remind you to remember New Year's Day Hank Williams SR tribute show from noon to 3 p.m. This you may have heard before: I first started the Hank show in 1955 or '56. I have not, for many reasons, been able to have it continuously through all of these years. I wasn't sure when I first started it if the listeners would take to one artist for four hours. What I found out was you just can't overdo Hank Williams SR. And now a few "new" songs by Hank from fairly recently released sets taken from the transcriptions of the Mother's Best Flour early morning show Hank did on WSM. There are some songs he had not recorded in a studio. We can be glad someone was smart enough to rescue these from the trash. Tune in; if you don't, you just don't know what you might miss

Comin' ... Or Goin'

I guess this is a good time and place to see what's coming or still going. The jams are still going here and there.

Vine Grove on Friday nights in the VG City Hall. (A big thanks to Vine Grove for the use and support of City Hall during these winter months, until spring returns and the jams can move back to the park. This is bluegrass support.)

Also, jams at Colesburg Baptist Church, Friday nights at 6:30. Breckinridge jam sessions Thursdays, 6 pm., at the McQuady Fire Department, McQuady, Ky. Shepherdsville Music Barn, December3: Larry Chung. December 10, Punches Family Band. December 17, Kentucky Wind. December 24 and 31, no shows

January 7, 2011, starting the New Year, King's Highway Band. This you will see and hear again: Saltlick Bluegrass Festival, February18-19, Shepherdsville, Ky., at Paraquet Springs Conference Center. Lineup includes Tommy Brown & County Line Grass, Cherryholmes (F), Larry Sparks & Lonesome Ramblers (S), Kings Highway (F/S), Driving Rain (F), Crossroads (S), Blue River (S) and Higher Vision (S)

Well, dear readers, friends, fans and all others, time to wrap this up; not only this but another year. As always, a sincere wish to you for a very special Christmas with family, loved ones and friends. Keep this day and the season in the true spirit of its most special meaning. Stay warm, stay safe, and look to the future. Keep that reminder for Sunday nights, 8-11 p.m., WFPK 91.9 FM for Sunday Bluegrass, going on 22 years with your help

Merry Christmas, everyone, and a Happy New Year ... all year!