Berk Bryant

Bluegrass Beat
By Berk Bryant

At the time I'm writing this, February was not all that bad. A little here, a little there but could have been worse .Now for March, will it be it's traditional self, in like a lion out like a lamb? Reminds me of a song, a Carter Family song I believe March winds gonna blow my blues all away. Now that would be something to hold high hopes for.

Notable notes I can say this without any reservations: a very good friend for a lot of years, Dr. Ralph Stanley's 85th birthday was February 25. I have considered Ralph, Ralph II and his band The Clinch Mountain Boys to be some of my best friends in the music business. Our wish to you, Ralph, is for many more to come and God continue to bless you and us.

Number two in this is another good friend: Little Roy Lewis hit the 70 mark February 24. He is still performing and going strong. I'm sorry I missed the Little Roy & Lizzie show at the Shepherdsville Music Barn when they were there last month. I really was intending to go but the predictors that be were a bit too uncertain about the weather conditions for that night, especially late as it usually is when the show is over. The idea of tackling Rt. 44 from there to 31W over very curvy, up the mountain, down the mountain, possibly slick roads was not appealing to me. If that would not be enough, there was the second obstacle of Muldraugh Hill on 31W. Over the years I have had the experience of waiting in line for the salt trucks to do their thing on the hill. So, boil it all down, experience took preference over desire. Sorry, Little Roy and until the next time, hope you had a Happy Birthday. 'Til we meet again...

The Salt River Bluegrass Festival put on by Tommy Brown on the 17th and 18th at Paroquet Springs Conference Center was a fine show. Got to see some great friends for the first time in a while and to make some new friends. These festivals are very good for that. Jammers were out in full force but once again, I feel weather predictions, especially for Saturday night, could have deterred quite a few folks from showing up. As it turned out, the weather did not live up to the predicted mess, thankfully.

Larry Spark's fiddle player has been a good friend for years now and I'm always glad to see him. Michael "Mike" Feagan has played with a lot of bluegrass stars that I'm sure you have seen and if the name doesn't strike a note, this will help: everybody looks up to Mike. He is taller than anybody else around him. He is a top-notch fiddle man, maybe because his music is on high. OK, let it go. Mike has a new CD at least I think it's new. I haven't seen it before and it's a good one. You'll be hearing it from me. When I first met him, he was playing with David Peterson and has fiddled for Bill Monroe plus. The title of his CD is A Fiddle Journey. He has included several Monroe tunes. Where to get it? All I have is, contact Michael Feagan, 590 Womack Rd., Bethpage, TN 57022.

Who, What, When and Where: It's "Itchin' To Pick Bluegrass Jam" time again. It's taking place at the Galt House on March 9 and 10. I've heard good reports from this gathering the last few years. A lot of pickers and friends of bluegrass come from Nashville, Indianapolis, Cincinnati and more for this event that draws about 800 folks or more.

March 9 at Shepherdsville at the Bullitt County Shrine Club - A Night of Bluegrass with Tommy Brown, Kings Highway AND Karl Shiflett & Big Country Show. Jamming as usual at Hillview government center in Louisville on Thursday nights. Silver Heights Bingo Hall Tuesday nights. Holiday Inn, Hurstborne Lane Louisville every Thursday night. Colesburg Baptist Church, Colesburg Kentucky Friday nights and Vine Grove City Hall, Kentucky every Friday night.

Shepherdsville Music Barn March 2 Jerry Butler & the Blue-Js. March 9 The Whiskey Bent Valley Boys. March 16 Bluegrass 101. March 23 C. F. Bailey & Shadow Ridge and March 30 The Larry Stephenson Band. April 6 Big Country Bluegrass

OK y'all, I guess this about all you can handle for now. I'll be looking for you and you be looking for me. Oh … and listening to WFPK 91.9 each Sunday night 8 11 p.m. That's right, Sunday Bluegrass, getting mighty close to 23 years. Thank all of y'all.