Berk Bryant

Bluegrass Beat
By Berk Bryant

April showers bring May flowers but by golly there's already been a lot of blooming going on and beautiful, fresh, colorful trees and flowers alike. Doesn't seem like some of those cool, a wee bit of frost some mornings have hindered spring from springing and it sure is great. 'Course, there's those other spring things like cutting the grass but you know what those things are. Can't beat it, though. Golfers will start golfing, fishermen will start fishing, jammers start outdoor jamming and festivals start festing. Looks and sounds like good times are ahead.

Dr. Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys were in town at Headliners on the 5th of April. An excellent show but anything less would not be Ralph Stanley. I had the privilege of MCing the show, which was opened by the Whiskey Bent Valley Boys. Of all of Ralph's shows I have seen there was something in this one I had never seen them do. Jimmie, Ralph's wife, was with them this time. At one point Ralph introduced a song he was going to do and said this is a song his wife Jimmie had written for him. Into the song she came walking down the center aisle and went up to join him on stage. She also joined him in singing the song. This was a special and wonderful spot in the show. The even did a couple of dance steps. A great act, well, it wasn't an act, Ralph and Jimmie. Perhaps you should do it more often. Bless you both.

Back to early last month, when it was Fund Drive time at WFPK. It was a terrific success for "Sunday Bluegrass" and others also. Showing your support for Public Radio and favorite programs actually go beyond the phone call, the pledge and their surface purpose. These calls are encouragement in a big way to those of that present our individual programs to you. Every response is saying to us we like what you do. We want you to continue as long as you can. You make us comfortable in our position. When we feel wanted we want to do our best. I am not quite sure how to say a sincere truly meaningful thanks. Believe me we all say "THANKS, THANK YOU" for being there for us.

Here is your reminder concerning Jefferson Memorial Forest Fest on May 19. The band line-up this year is headliner Larry Sparks. Other bands are Hog Operation, 23 Strings, and New Town. Most of you are familiar to some degree with these groups. Bands begin playing at 11 a.m. Each band plays twice and to close the show, Larry Sparks goes on at 6 p.m. Other activities including children's activities continue until 5:30 pm. A forest scavenger hunt for families and children starts at 1 p.m., with winners announced at 4 p.m. Various booths, venders, craft booths throughout the day closing at 7 p.m. As per usual, the show is free, though there is a per-car parking charge. A true family event for every family.

In case you might have missed it, J. D. Crowe is retiring at the end of the year. He will finish his scheduled tours and then hit the recliner. I have invited him on more than one occasion to stop in on my show if he was ever around Louisville on a Sunday. J.D. said if you can ever get me out of the recliner, we might do that. I hope to see you a few more times before you sit back down. J.D.

Who's it, When's it, Where's it:

Vine Grove, Kentucky's Mayberry Days Festival — May 11 and 12. Live entertainment both days including Bluegrass music. The bands for Saturday will include Billy Ray Latham, who appeared on the Andy Griffith Show. Here's a link to the flyer:

Bluegrass Anonymous Pig & Pickin' Roast — May 12, Noon 10:00 p.m. Lapping Park, Endris Lodge, Clarksville, IN. Free for BA members, donations requested for nonmembers.

Grayson County Opry May 19. Bands: Style 28 and Hickory Grove.

Bardstown Bluegrass Festival — June 1 & 2. White Acres Campground in Bardstown. Friday: Bluegrass 101; Mike Lilly, Wendy Miller & Country Grass; Common Ground; Dry Ridge. Saturday: Bluegrass 101; Mountain Melody; New Outlook Bluegrass; Mike Lilly, Wendy Miller & Country Grass; Bluegrass Express.

Shepherdsville Music Barn — May 4: Larry Efaw & the Bluegrass Mountaineers. May 11: Jerry Butler & the Blue "JS".

The jams continue — Hillview City Hall, Louisville: every Thursday night. Holiday Inn Hurstbourne Lane, Louisville: BA jam, every Thursday night. Colesburg, Kentucky every Thursday night. Vine Grove, Kentucky City Hall: every Friday night.

ENOUGH, enough, is that my editor I hear screaming! Okay and thanks for being here. Also, be at your radio every Sunday night, WFPK 91.9 FM for "Sunday Bluegrass," the shortest, fastest and bestest three hours in radio. 8 p.m. 11 p.m., when it's time to go get a doughnut.