Berk Bryant

Bluegrass Beat
By Berk Bryant

Didn't it rain children, didn't it rain. Something's going on. Flood, earthquakes, tsunamis, brought to mind the Porter Wagoner song "The World Needs A Washing." As I am writing this, a couple of weeks ago, it is a little overcast, with promises of better times a-coming. I am ready for those buds to burst with the flowers they produce ... like the dogwoods, forsythia, buttercups and such. They brighten the world. That's a good thing.

Setting the Stage

Just think, all of the April weather will be setting the stage for -- Forest Fest! Get ready, because it's going to be a good one. The news is out all over town -- the headliners for this year's big show will be The Grascals. Those guys are going full speed.

Hot Group Fired Up

A new CD just in from Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper: Fired Up. I'm sure you have heard of this hot group. "Fired Up" is descriptive of this release. It starts that way with "Dixie Special," followed close on with "Big Wide Strum." Not every cut is rocket speed but all are good and will keep your attention. "I'm Yours," an old Flatt & Scruggs tune; "I'm Gonna Ride That Steamboat," plus more, including a couple of moving instrumentals. Fourteen tracks in all. If you know Michael, you know what to expect. And if you don't, here's a good way to hear what you've been missing. A multi-talented, multiple-award-winning local fiddle man. You've done it again, Michael.

Check it Out

Another release, this one from a Louisville picker -- Dobro picker at that -- Glenn Gibson. Glenn paid a visit to Sunday Bluegrass the 13th of last month. He has been in and out of the music business and is now back in. Charlie Sizemore got in touch with him, and Glenn is now a part of Charlie's band. Charlie had this to say about the new CD after first hearing it: "I was immediately struck by the high quality of the material. So I called Glenn and asked where he found these songs. He replied, 'Except for 'Barbara Allen,' I wrote ‘em.'" Did he ever! (from the liner notes). A few of the numbers you'll find here are "Cry Baby"; "In The Name Of Love"; "Before you Know"; "It Ain't Gonna Happen" and "Ridin' The Rails." Check it out. (To order the CD, send a check or money order for $18 to Glenn Gibson, 5412 Catalina Ave., Louisville, KY 40272, or order it from glenngibsonmusic.com).

Shepherdsville Bluegrass Finale

April will wind up the Shepherdsville Friday night bluegrass shows for the season. Lineup for the start of the finale month: April 1, Melvin Goins and Windy Mountain. April 8, Wildwood Valley Boys. April 15, Loraine Jordan & Carolina Road. April 22, Kirby Knob. And the big closeout group, on the 29th, will be Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver!

Keeping Things Jamming

With a jam, jam, here and a jam, jam, there, everywhere a jam, jam keeping things going. Vine Grove will be continuing in City Hall Friday nights until May, then move to Monday nights. Other continuing jams: Breckenridge Bluegrass Music Association Jam every Thursday at McQuady Fire House, 6-9 p.m. Hillview City Hall, Louisville, every Thursday night, 6 p.m. Silver Heights Bingo Hall, Tuesdays nights. BA jam at Holiday Inn Hurstbourne, in Louisville, every Thursday night. Colesburg Baptist Church, Friday nights. First Thursday each month, International Bluegrass Music Museum, evenings. Second Friday, Rough River Lodge Jam.

Well, good people, there are no April Fools in here ... that I know of. Now if y'all don't mind, I think I'll go and see if I can find something to play for this coming Sunday's show. Be there (WFPK 91.9 FM, 8 p.m.). Thanks! See ya somewhere on the road.