Berk Bryant

Bluegrass Beat
By Berk Bryant

January, whoo. You were sometimes mild a few days considering the time of the year but you made up for it with days and nights of bottomed out cold. We can only hope February is not out to outdo you. February has that one very special day to warm all hearts. The day that "cupid" is on the move with romance in the air and those beautiful fancy cards of expressed affections to warm the hearts. Let's not forget those varied size heart-shaped boxes of chocolates. Even those can come with a nice bouquet of fresh flowers to further brighten the scene. Maybe February will be a little easier on us weather wise … but then, don't think about it.

Okay, so goes the mush. Last month, I had the opportunity to see a group I had heard a bit about, a group I had heard of but not seen. Sometimes when you hear too much about an unfamiliar group, you get a bit leery (from past experience). The band was the Spinney Brothers from Nova Scotia. I really didn't know what to expect. They opened their show with the real stuff and kept it up all the way. Like some of the audience that attended, I was pleasantly surprised. There were members of the audience down from Columbus, Ohio, for example, who are dedicated fans of this group and often follow them when they are appearing within reasonable distance. Calling their music what it is and down to earth, a very good bluegrass group that includes a few traditional country numbers in the way they should be done. Kinda makes you think of the days before bluegrass was actually called bluegrass and considered country. Don't miss the next opportunity that comes along to see this group. Yes, I have a CD and will be playing from it. You probably already know this by now.

What's Coming Up

The 4th. Annual Salt Lick Bluegrass Festival will be held at Paroquet Springs Conference Center, Shepherdsville February 15. and 16.. Tickets $20, children 12 and under free and Teens 13 17 $5 per day. After the show, join in the all night Bluegrass Jam at the Sleep Inn breakfast room. Line up for the weekend includes: Friday Kings Highway, Higher Vision, Philip Steinmetz and Sunny Tennesseans, Tommy Brown (both nights) and Karl Shiflett. Saturday The Daniel Patrick Family, Bluegrass 101, Blue River, Larry Sparks. Another goodun!

Upcoming at Shepherdsville February 1 Nathan Stanley with the Clinch Mountain Boys.

(Not surprised but very glad Dr. Ralph Stanley is coming also. As a reminder, Ralph's 85th birthday is the 25th of this month. Ralph, God bless you as He already has and may you have many more Happy Birthdays. You are the standard for Old Time Mountain Music which you prefer to be called. To his credit, Ralph/The Stanley Brothers have never changed or compromised their music. For those who might not know, Ralph is an army veteran.)

Continuing: February 8 Larry Gills and Swamp Grass. February 15 The Tyler Williams Band February 22 Ralph Stanley II, Mar. 1 Farm Hands Quartet.

Your choice: The usual jams are going on, as far as I know. A change in the Vine grove Friday night jams is now in effect. The jam sessions in Vine Grove City Hall, 6 10 p.m. Friday nights have changed to the 1st and 3rd. Fridays only. Other area jams: Wednesday nights, BA jam at BBC St. Matthews, 3929 Shelbyville Rd., Wednesdays, Relic and Friends at the Monkey Wrench, 1025 Barrett Ave., Thursdays, Hickory Vaught and Friends, Blu Café, Marriott Hotel, 280 W. Jefferson, Open jam at Hillview City Hall Hillview Blvd./Louis.

Nuff said, except don't forget Sunday Bluegrass every Sunday night from 8 11, WFPK 91.9 FM. Thank Y'all for being there.