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Berk Bryant

Bluegrass Beat
By Berk Bryant

June ... already ... seems like only yesterday it was May. Oh well, I remember that day soooo many years ago. There we were Mom, me, the doctor and a midwife. Mom (who was a nurse, but was a little too busy with me at the moment to do many nurse things, hence the midwife), told me later that dad was fishing that afternoon. There were many "changes" then and have been since, although not exactly the same ones required at that time. If that is clear, we'll move on.

June is a great month, summer seems to be almost totally here, and there's sleeping with the windows open to let in the sounds of summer, the breezes, the birds singing in the trees, dogs barking in the night, and don't forget the crickets. Yep, I am glad it's all here.

Forest Fest

Forest Fest went off pretty doggone good, I thought. There was that threat of rain, which it didn't do while I was there. A group that goes by the name of Buck Creek opened the show. I was not familiar with them, but they made a fine opening act. They were good, and many comments I heard among the listeners backed that up.

Next up, Stone Hollow made their annual appearance and, as I understand it, their last appearance as such. "Such" meaning Stone Hollow.

Hog Operation followed them and did their usual pretty-fast-paced show. I always enjoy those guys.

Tony Holt and The Wildwood Valley Boys took over from there. Aubrey Holt, Tony's dad [and one of the originators of the Boys From Indiana] is playing with the band on a regular basis. In my humble opinion, the Boys From Indiana were one of THE best show bands on the road in their day. I told Aubrey I never did get one of those hats they threw out into the audience at the end of their show. These guys have always been very nice to me and I appreciate it. Unfortunately, I had to leave right after I introduced them, and missed their show. I know it was good. I also missed Cherryholmes more good friends. I did get to visit with them a bit earlier. I don't have an "official" report but I think it was a success. Look forward to next year.

Behind the Scenes

I feel a need to go behind the scenes before leaving the subject of Forest Fest. A great big load of KUDOS go out to Vicki Aubrey Welch, District 13 Councilwoman, for being the presenting sponsor, recognizing the value and the fan base of Bluegrass Music Kentucky-bred American music. Also deserving a tremendous round of credit and a firm pat on the back are the supporting council members. Not least by any means, thanks should go out to the Fairdale Community sponsors.

I would be remiss if I didn't shine the bluegrass star light on a young lady at Jefferson Memorial and her very supportive staff of workers who put this all together. Tonya Swan, bright and cheery, sweats out the decisions of what bands, contacts, final arrangements, actually putting up with me on my show and putting out all of the brush fires on the big day. All of that and she survives with a smile. Thank you, council members, thank you. Tonya and staff, thank you, Fairdale and thank those who attend. You can't get a free show like this every day.

Stay Tuned

Coming up after my deadline for this column, was a show on the 22nd of last month at Shepherdsville's Paroquet Springs Center Medal of Honor Memorial Bluegrass Concert. Scheduled performers were Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper, Blue River, and Bluegrass Express. I was invited to be there and will let you know next month how it went.


A BIG June event I am now very much looking forward to is ROMP '09. For those of you familiar with ROMP, I don't need to tell you much. Those who may not be familiar with ROMP, I can't tell you enough. The River Of Music Party, a favorite child of the International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, Kentucky, is now an annual event an event to help sustain the Museum with support from the bluegrass community and everybody in it. This is an awesome opportunity to see, meet, and enjoy the true living legends and those destined to be, in bluegrass music. I really can't begin to list everybody and everything here, so let me urge you to get a brochure. If you can't find one in the area, call 1-888-MYBANJO and ask them to mail you a copy. Tell them I suggested you call, but you don't have to. I also strongly recommend that all true bluegrass fans become a member of the International Bluegrass Music Museum.

Thank y'all.

Birthday Belle

Louisville jewel the Belle of Louisville celebrates it's 95th birthday this month. The Belle is the oldest Mississippi-style operating steamboat in the world. The engines are over 100 years old. I told you that to tell you this: Sunday Bluegrass Cruises are underway again on the Belle until October. Featured bands on the boat this summer will be BlueZenGrass, Whiskey Bent Valley Boys, Hog Operation, and Kentucky Blue. Loading begins at 1:30 p.m., cruise at 2 and return dockside at 4. The buffet cruisers will enjoy the great food from Hall's Catering in Louisville. What a great, relaxed visitor and local folks alike treat of bluegrass music, good food and cruise on the Ohio River for a memorable Sunday afternoon. For the lunch buffet cruise, make reservations at 502-574-2992/1-866-832-0011. Be seeing you there. Also, before I forget, they have three line dance cruises scheduled: June 20, July 15 and August 15. Many more Belle events coming up.

Festival time

June 5 and 6, Bardstown Bluegrass Festival: White Acres Campground, Bardstown, Kentucky, 6-10 p.m. Friday, and noon to 10 p.m. Saturday. Bluegrass 101( both days), Kings Highway (Friday), Rough Edges (Friday), David Davis and Warrior River Boys (Sat.), Glenn Ritchie Band (Sat.), Shades of Grass (Sat.).

June 11-14, Festival of the Bluegrass: Featuring Seldom Scene, IIIrd Tyme Out, Monroe Crossing, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, Dry Branch Fire Squad, Blue Highway, J. D. Crowe, Mountain Heart, Lonesome River Band, Lewis Family, Kentucky Blue and Moron Bros.

Time to wind it up for this time. Remember, Sunday nights, 8-11p.m., WFPK 91.9 FM, for Sunday Bluegrass. The June 7 show will mark 20 years for Sunday Bluegrass with the Country Gentleman, Berk Bryant. Thanks to all for your listener support, fund drive pledge support and very kind words when we meet. Sincerely, Berk.

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