Berk Bryant

Bluegrass Beat
By Berk Bryant

Oh boy, JUNE! June means a lot to me. The glow is a little low in the old crystal ball, but I'm going to go for it anyhow. At last, summer. At last, warmer weather. I know ... too much for some. But for me, fine; bring it on. I like/prefer the doors and windows open, very light cover if any. If desperately needed, a fan sweeping over the bed. I grew up that way and without the fan. Well … if you're shaking your head, so be it. But turning 81 the 8th of this month, I'm used to it. Extra added attraction with the windows open, the summer and night sounds of summer. There's just something nostalgic about it.

It's Magic

Okay, let's get started here. Not too unusual for me, but I'm going to vary just a shade from my bluegrass country theme for a paragraph right up front. This past month brought an entertaining show to the Palace Theater ... a magic show. It included two of the TOP magicians in the business. And get this, both are originally from Louisville Lance Burton and Mac King. Icing on the cake:The next night they both attended a Louisville Magic Club meeting for a question-and-answer session. Super guys and willingly met individually, gave autographs and very graciously and patiently posed for pictures for all who wanted. A big "HOWDY," as Mac says, to you both, and thanks for your congeniality to us fans. You both are a credit to your profession.

Now, returning to our program, the old crystal ball referred to above has brightened up just a tad, but not bright enough to show past the 21st of last month. So I'll try to foresee.

Forest Fest

Forest Fest, I'm going to say, was a good one again. The local groups that most of you know, and know are dependable for a good performance, did it. That would have been Bluegrass101, Relic and The Highrollers. Having seen and knowing all of them, I'm betting they did it.

Now, the headliners. Already a sure bet before that Saturday as I am writing this gets here, were the Grascals. As I have mentioned before, I have known Terry Eldridge since the early '80s and he has been a good friend ever since. As time goes by, I am getting better acquainted with the rest of the band. I hope you didn't miss them. A couple of changes in the show this year were the addition of a jamming area and each band did two shows. Tonya, however it went, you done well, Ms. Put It All Together Lady.

On the OHIO

Steamboat time on the mighty Ohio river, that is. The bluegrass sightseeing/lunch cruises started May 29 on the grand lady of the Ohio River, The Belle of Louisville. These cruises have been very popular over the last few years and are destined to continue that way. I don't have the complete list at this time but I understand that quite a few of the groups will be back this year. Bands alternate/rotate each Sunday and entertain visitors from far and near. I meet a lot of nice folks on these pleasant Sunday afternoon cruises up the river. For the yet uninitiated, the Belle is THE oldest Mississippi-style operating paddlewheel-driven steamboat in the world. It's a beauty and a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Boarding begins at 1:30 p.m., cruise at 2, and return to the wharf by 4. Hope to see you there some Sunday.

It's ROMP Time

June 23-25: River Of Music Party, staged by the International Bluegrass Music Museum located in Owensboro, Ky. Headliners are Steve Martin w/ Steep Canyon Rangers and Emmylou Harris. The line-up, as I have it from the web: Thursday, the 23rd, 10 a.m. at the Museum. From 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.: Tours, exhibits, films, etc., Yellow Creek Park. At 7 p.m., Pete and Joan Wernick; 8 p.m.., Steve Martin and Steep Canyon Rangers; 10 p.m., After Party and all-night jams. Friday, 11 a.m-10 p.m. At 11: 30 p.m., After Party Jam. Sat., 11 a.m.11 p.m.: Josh Williams, 4:30 p.m. Emmylou Harris, 8:20 p.m.

Routine Goings On

Da jams: Hillview, Thursday nights, 6-9 p.m., NOW in the Government Center. Colesburg Baptist Church, Friday nights, 6:30 p.m.. Breckenridge Bluegrass Music Assn., Thursday nights. at McQuady, Ky. Fire Dept.. Holiday Inn, Hurstbourne Lane, Louisville, Thursdays, 7 p.m. Silver Heights Bingo Hall, Louisville. , Tues. nights. American Legion Iroquois Park, Tuesday nights. Vine Grove Optimist Park, Monday nights, 6 p.m. Festival. Bluegrass 101, June 3 and 4, Bardstown, Ky., White Acres Campground.

Don't forget "Sunday Bluegrass," WFPK 91.9 FM, 8-11 p.m., each and every Sunday night. This month celebrating 22 years of "Sunday Bluegrass," traditional country and old-time country, all the real stuff. Oops, gotta go get a doughnut. Y'all come back.