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Berk Bryant

Bluegrass Beat
By Berk Bryant

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Sure hope each of you had a very good holiday and are now ready to get about the business of the new year. Of course, there is a lot of business to be about, but our concern right here is the business of bluegrass music.

You all know that there are festivals coming that are yearly events and, although they seem to be months away, it is really not too soon to make some plans. Some of these festivals could involve a little travel. Planning a bit could reveal some side trips in some cases that would really-add to any trip. A small example is something I do most every year: When I go to the Charlotte, Mich., festival I get in a couple of good side trips. I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to spend a couple of days with Mr. John Morris, of Old Homestead Records and his family. A real treat for me. From there, on my trip home, I usually go by Colon, Michigan. This is my chance to pursue another of my interests: magic. Abbotts, one of the largest magic manufacturers is located in Colon. This way I can visit their showroom, maybe pick up some new effect to add to my show and overall have a very good trip. Just trying to give you some ideas to get the most out of your next trip to a BG festival. As if the music itself wasn't enough.

All of this eventually becomes a circle of involvement. The fans support the festival, the festival supports the artists, the artists support the music, the music supports the fans and on it goes. Somewhere in all of this is the radio and the DJ who programs and plays bluegrass music. This being a circle, the direction can go either way. I think bluegrass is gaining fans and support all over. Let's keep the trend going this year.

Locally and soon, in the way of concerts, Shepherdsville [Country Music Show] will be going strong. What better way to start a bluegrass new year than with Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys on January 6. Then, on the 13th, Michael Cleveland, Brian Allen and Bluegrass Revolution with guest Kathy Penn. Also the Hartland Bluegrass Band. The 20th, TBA; and on the 27th, Larry Stephenson. February 3 brings back a big favorite of the fans in this area, Carl Story. Don't miss them; we'll look for you there.

There is bluegrass at Henryville, Ind., each second and fourth Saturday night and at Scottsburg, Ind., each third and fifth Saturday night.

Gary Brewer has a new release somewhere around the first of next month. Gary has finally gotten the recording done that includes two guitar instrumentals written by Mr. Monroe. I am sure Gary got them both right on the CD because Bill was right there to pick along on these two. Congratulations, Gary, we'll all be looking for this one.

OK, guess we will keep this sort of short and painless for this time. But before I go, everybody raise your right hand and repeat loudly, "I resolve that in 1995 and the years to come I will not miss any of the Sunday Bluegrass shows on WFPL, 89. 3 FM, each Sunday night from 8:30 to 11. And further, I will follow any changes that may be effected concerning the aforementioned program. I further resolve to support and further bluegrass music in Kentucky and everywhere else to the utmost ability that I can muster. OK, put your hands down; your arms must be tired by now.

Once more, HAPPY NEW YEAR and we'll see you at a festival or a show or on the radio somewhere this year.

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