Berk Bryant

Bluegrass Beat
By Berk Bryant

September, ah, yes, SCHOOL has started, weather changes are to be expected, fall will soon be in full force and all of those good things. Summer fades into fall in the coming weeks, melt into October and then ... well, you know. When you come right down to it, before you know it another year has passed at mach speed and we'll soon be starting all over. Well, bring on the colors, the frost, the chilly winds and bundle up.

August was a pretty good and busy month after all. I made a trip to Michigan to visit with my friends John and Norma Morris. John owns Old Homestead records, promoted the bluegrass festivals at Charlotte, MI for quite a few years before turning it over to Jim Wylder. It was many years ago when John brought me into the circle and I was MC at Charlotte for nineteen years. Met and made many friends and artists during that time. The festival John and I went to this time was at Milan, MI. He asked me up to assist with his record/CD etc. table. Many fine folks, friends and fans came by to say hello and expressed a wish for me to come back, This sort of thing is something that makes a fellow, especially an old one, feel really good. It's pretty much like a reunion.

It was also an excellent time to renew contacts with band friends I hadn't seen for far too long. Pete Gobel, writer of some great bluegrass songs, was there again this year. I had asked Rhonda Vincent the last time I saw her if I could share a few thoughts with her that I had jotted some years ago the next time I got to see her. She had agreed and I did. I've got to tell you, folks, that Rhonda was very kind. She listened what I read to her, talked with me a bit when I finished. She has always been interested in our servicemen and listened with serious attention when I told her I am retired U. S. Army. Got to say hello with a longtime friend, Terry Eldridge, who is a main one with the Grascals. Many more who made a long drive worthwhile. Just might have to do it again.

In addition to all of that, by the time August wound up, I had spent a day at the State Fair as I do with the Radcliff/Ft. Knox Tourism. Also visited Merle Thixton and Robin Roller's wedding reception, Bullitt County Fairgrounds Bluegrass 101's festival and a few other amusements through the remainder of the month that included a trip to Corydon to see another favorite group I haven't see for way too long, Dry Branch Fire Squad.

I want to thank my friend John Butler for allowing me to use his computer at great risk to it. Mine got one of those unscrupulous things that plays havoc with everything in it. I just hope it will be straightened out one way or another in time for the next round of this.

Don't forget 11th Vine Grove Bluegrass Festival, September 23, 24 and 25 at the Optimist Park at Vine Grove. Thursday starts at 6 p.m. FREE PICNIC (first 250 people). Vine Grove Band Scramble; Rosco Byrd Orange Blossom Special Fiddle Off; Moron Brothers; Tommy Brown & County Line Grass. Friday, 5:00 p.m. Gene Thompson & Crossroads; Hazel Hollow; Tommy Brown & County Line Grass and J. D. Crowe & The New South. Saturday. 11:30 a.m. Vine Grove Jammers; Vine Grove Express; C. J. Lewandowski & Men Of The Week; Bluegrass 101; Big Country Bluegrass; Junior Sisk & Rambler's Choice and Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper. Come on out, see you there.

The various jams are still going strong, as far as I know. Vine Grove on Monday nights at the Optimist Park, Hillview City Hall Louisville, 6 p.m. Thursday nights, (time change for the Breckinridge Bluegrass Music Association Jam Sessions) now Thursday evenings 6 p.m. McQuady Fire Department, McQuady, Kentucky, Colesburg Baptist Church, Friday nights 6:30. Sunday Bluegrass cruises on the Belle of Louisville begin loading at 1:30, cruise at 2 and back at 4. September 5 - Whiskey Bent Valley Boys, September 12 - Blue Zen Grass, September 19 - Kentucky Blue and September 26 - Whiskey Bent Valley Boys.

Well folks, time to hit the send button. Don't forget Sunday Bluegrass every Sunday 8 11 p.m., WFPK 91.9 FM and streaming bluegrass to the world.