Berk Bryant

Bluegrass Beat
By Berk Bryant

Howdy friends. My gosh, July is here already. Now's the time to get those picnic baskets out and head for some nice outdoor spot to relax, grilled or ready-made picnic type eats, spread the blanket or get to a table and watch for the ants that want you to share with them. Oh yeah, don't forget your Off or whatever to keep the skeeters, gnats and no-see-ums away and have a good time with the family. Make it a family reunion. Hey, take those instruments along, those of you that have them and do some good picking bluegrass style jamming. Check out the locations for a good display that evening about sunset for the fireworks. Still a day for patriotism as July 4th is and should be a celebration of the good ole USA. I have a little something I'll add in on down the page.

Speaking of bluegrass jams right in the company of bluegrass festivals. Looking at the current issue of Bluegrass Unlimited bluegrass festivals seem to be growing like a crop of grass that seems to need cutting every time you look at it. That's a good thing. I particularly noticed North and South Carolina seem to have a good crop with top entertainers. These are just a few that are not too far to make a trip. There are plenty more in other nearby, relatively speaking, places such as Bean Blossom, Virginia and others.

July is bringing some I'll say challenges for some of us, me for one. What I'm referring to now is on my side of the mike and unnoticed on your side. From what I have been told and hearing, there will be added requirements/details to our shows for reporting purposes, concerning our play lists. Many minute details such as the length of a song, when it started, how long we talk on breaks, etc. Well, I'll get used to it as soon as I can. "Sunday Bluegrass" may have some new operational fumbles starting this month. Bear with me, dear listeners.

Up the page I mentioned I would add something in. To me, it is in connection with July 4th and what it represents about our country. It is a true incident that took place in 1968. A young man, my stepson at the time, was killed in the Tet Offensive in 1968. The following is from his service; someone who attended wrpte it and signed the visitor book simply A Grateful American.

Heroes have cried and heroes have died

For all throughout our land

Many don't care or shed a tear

But not the Grateful American

Many have died while the cowards hide

They've run as far as they can

But what will they do when there are no more like you

The Grateful American

When home they were brought free from all thought

With pride you wept as a man

For you had no shame and knew not his name

You're the Grateful American

You're out of date, your kind they hate

This "modern" generation

And you're the kind that's hard to find

A Grateful American

You speak of God and working the sod

And taking an honest stand

And saluting the flag can make you glad

You're the Grateful American

Show time. Show time is Jam time. Do it. American Legion Iroquois Post 229, Tuesday nights 6 p.m. 800 West Woodlawn Ave. Wednesdays. BA jam @ BBC St. Matthews, 3929 Shelbyville Rd. 7:30 p.m. Relic & Friends @ The Monkey Wrench 1025 Barrett ave. -Thursdays Hickory Vaught & Friends @ Blu Grill Marriott Hotel, 280 West Jefferson St. 8-12 p.m. Open jam @ Hillview City Hall Hillview 6 p.m.- Fridays Vine Grove. The Vine Grove Jam starts the first Friday of each month and continues every other Friday night, weather permiting. It is held in Optimist Park, just down the street from City Hall. if you are not sure, check at City Hall and if the jam is in the park, there will be a note on the door saying so.

Friends, listeners and all, have a safe, sane and responsible July 4th. Don' miss "Sunday Bluegrass," now 24 years old, 8-11 p.m. every Sunday night WFPKJ 91.9 FM. Check the WFPK.org web site and remember, we're streaming audio. Uh oh, time to go get a doughnut.