Berk Bryant

Bluegrass Beat
By Berk Bryant

Get the flags out, get the fireworks and get the picnic goodies together. It's time to celebrate! Yes, celebrate our country -- the good ole USA's birthday. We've been doing it for years. It's a holiday, a day off and a day to remember what we have been all this time. A day to reflect on who and what we are and take it into the future carefully so as not to lose it or leave it behind. The Fourth of July, 2011 celebrate, be careful and be safe.

Where's the Bluegrass?

In the past couple of months, I had an email from a couple in Australia, asking where they might find some bluegrass jamming, maybe in a bar setting on a Thursday or Friday night in Louisville. They wanted to hear some bluegrass. Everybody I asked around Louisville did not know. I finally had to tell them I couldn't find a place. They were traveling around the states to hear various kinds of music.

I received a note from them after their stay in Louisville and they said no one they asked knew of a place. Think about that a moment. These folks traveled thousands of miles to the bluegrass state and can't find the music associated closely with Kentucky. Why? I have been a few miles myself and anytime, overseas especially, if I mentioned I lived in Kentucky, the very first thing I was asked: "You play a guitar?" NOT once was I asked about a basketball, a horse or a bottle of bourbon. Kentucky, bluegrass music and real country music are associated with Kentucky. I hope those folks had better luck finding what they were looking for on the rest of their trip.

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise

This past month I was on Metro TV, a recorded interview, Saturday, the 11th, and again Monday morning, the 13th. A few days later, I called my doctor in Calhoun, Ky., concerning getting a physical during the weekend of ROMP. In chatting, he told me they had been in Louisville that weekend and when they got back to their hotel and turned on the TV, there I was. Surprise, surprise.

Still Cruisin' After All These Years

The grand ole lady, The Belle of Louisville, is on the go again. Sunday bluegrass lunch cruises are in full swing. I personally think this is quite an attraction. The Belle is fascinating in its history, in its persona and what she represents. Unique in that it's the oldest operating steamboat of its kind in the world. Steam-driven, no propellers, strictly paddle-wheel-driven by engines over 100 years old. Whether it be the bluegrass cruise or any of its routine cruises, everybody should enjoy a quiet, relaxing Belle ride on the Ohio.

Fun in the Forest

A short mention about Forest Fest: Things went rather well. The bands were well received and the Grascals, of course, really needed no introduction. Each band did two shows this time around and that also went well. The Grascals were the closing act for the day. The weather held off all day, that is until … until the Grascals were a little past half done and the rains came. Over all, a good day, good music, good people and a pleasant get-together. OH, I should add, maybe, Terry Eldridge had his lovely fianceé along. I don't know the big date so, anyhow, congrats and blessings to you, my friend.

Jam Time

Hillview in Louisville every Thursday night 6-9 p.m. in the Government Center. Colesburg Baptist Church, Colesburg, Ky., Friday nights, 6:30 till? Silver Heights Bingo Hall, Tuesday nights. Holiday Inn, Louisville, every Thursday night, 7 p..m. Breckenridge Bluegrass Music Association Jam, every Thurs., McQuady Fire Dept., 6 p.m.

And the Bluegrass keeps rolling along. I like my bluegrass, and if you do too, remember Sunday Bluegrass each Sunday night, 8-11 p.m. Bonus: You'll also get some traditional/real country along with it, sometimes mixed in. Where, you say? WFPK 91.9 FM, Louisville, Ky., with the Country Gentleman Berk Bryant. Be seeing you, and let's go get a doughnut.