Berk Bryant

Bluegrass Beat
By Berk Bryant

Can you believe it? Here we are -- seems like quicker than a wink -- hitting the halfway mark of another year. Another year half gone, and if I double that I am now a whole year older. Time doesn't slow down as we get older; it accelerates to speeds we have never imagined. So here's what to do: drain the most out of every minute as it flashes by. For some of us, that means getting the most out of those little naps that sneak up on us when everything around us is quiet, peaceful and comfortable.

The News is Out

Breaking news is that IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) will be leaving Nashville and going to Raleigh, N.C. The following is an excerpt from Bluegrass Today:

"IBMA's World of Bluegrass will leave Nashville and move to Raleigh, N.C, for the 2013 business conference and Fan Fest. An official announcement will be made tomorrow (Wednesday), according to sources familiar with the decision."

The announcement date referred to was May 16. The article went on to say that Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane's news conference would reveal a "huge cultural development for the city." I wonder what serious, if any, effort was made by Louisville to bring IBMA back to Kentucky, back to Louisville where there is and has been much support for it by the people/citizens who recognize bluegrass and its meaning to Kentucky. I have heard of vendors, record company executives, musicians and many attendees express a desire to see IBMA back in Louisville. No real effort to do so casts the shadow of shunning bluegrass music by Kentucky and Louisville.

Since the event Forest Fest was still ahead at this writing, I can only say from past experience that it was another success. The headliner for this year's show was Larry Sparks and the Lonesome Ramblers, always dependable for a fine show. Other good local friends Hog Operation always get an audience's attention. A big tip of the bluegrass hat to Fairdale Council "Chairlady" Vicki Welch and Jefferson Memorial Forest employee Tonya Swan (who dreamed up this great shindig some years ago) and all volunteers who put this together and make it happen every year. Also, a big salute to Fairdale and numerous sponsors and supporters for recognizing a great event.

The Hands of Time

I suspect you probably already know about this, but I still want to include a bit here. As the hands of time on a clock are ticking away, lately they seem to be taking more and more of our legendary music names along. Wednesday, May 16, Doug Dillard was caught up in the passing of time. As most of us remember best, the Dillards -- Doug, Rodney and the band -- became famous for their role of the Darlins on the Andy Griffith TV show. I was fortunate enough to have met them several times, both individually and together. My last visit with Doug was in Owensboro at the Bill Monroe Centennial. I spent a few enjoyable minutes chatting with him and Ginger Boatwright. Doug asked if I had his CD Heartbreak Hotel, which contained two earlier LPs. I didn't and he promised to send me a copy when he returned home. It now has an even more special place in my collection. Doug was always congenial and approachable. Now among my regrets are what would be opportunities to become better acquainted with Doug Dillard. May you rest, Doug, rest peacefully with that big smile of yours.

Pickin' Time

Jams I can recall right off:

Breckenridge Bluegrass jams at the McQuady Fire House, McQuady, Ky., every Thursday night 6-9 p.m. (CT).

Hillsview City Hall, Louisville, every Thursday night 6 p.m.

Colesburg, Ky., every Friday night 6 p.m.

Vine Grove, Ky., Vine Grove City Hall.

Festivals per se:

Bardstown Bluegrass Festival, June 1-2, featuring Bluegrass 101, Mike Lilly, Wendy Miller & Country Grass. Common Ground, Dry Ridge, Mountain Melody, New Outlook Bluegrass and Bluegrass Express.

If you might want to take a trip, there's the Charlotte Bluegrass Festival, Charlotte, Mich., June 2123. A page full of acts including Larry Stephenson, Charlie Sizemore, Rhonda Vincent, The Grascals, IIIrd Tyme Out and Goldwing Express.

We return now to our regularly scheduled broadcast, Sunday Bluegrass, WFPK 91.9, each and every Sunday night from 8 to 11p.m. with the Country Gentleman. And you never know who else may drop by. Uh oh doughnut time.