Sunday night, the band played favorites like Bob Wills' “My Window Faces the South”; Monroe's “Sally Goodin,” which Berline noted he played with the bluegrass performer himself in 1967; “I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better” by the Byrds, which was more rock than bluegrass. Other songs included the band's renditions of Ricky Nelson's “Hello, Mary Lou” and the gospel “Crying Holy Unto the Lord” with a mandolin solo by Berline.
Among the highlights of the evening were the performances by some of the Irish step dancers who study at the Muggavin School of Irish Dance at Herbert W. Armstrong College in Edmond. One of them, Jude Flurry, 11, recently placed ninth at the World Irish Dance Championships in Boston; another, Jordan Saranga, 12, placed 25th.
The group of about six to 10 students first danced the Irish step to the Berline band's performance of “Huckleberry Hornpipe.” They appeared again near the end: One of Berline's final songs was “Orange Blossom Special,” a fun song that offered each band member a chance to show off as well as the Irish step-dancing kids.
Fans of bluegrass weren't disappointed by the interesting show and catchy music, but neither were the bluegrass novices who enjoyed the musicians' talent and depth of knowledge about the genre.
The Byron Berline Band typically plays every other week at the Double Stop Fiddle Shop in Guthrie. For information and a schedule, go online to doublestop.com.
— Lillie-Beth Brinkman