Musings on folk, Americana, country, bluegrass and newgrass

MerleFest adds Brandi Carlile, Tim O’Brien, Sam Bush Band and Jim Lauderdale to 2016 lineup

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This just in from the folks at MerleFest:

“MerleFest, presented by Window World and slated for April 28-May 1, 2016, is proud to announce four more additions to the 2016 lineup: Brandi Carlile, Tim O’Brien, Sam Bush Band and Jim Lauderdale. These artists join over 100 other artists already announced, including John Prine, Old Crow Medicine Show, Dave Rawlings Machine, The Wood Brothers, Alison Brown, Peter Rowan, Doug Seegers, Steep Canyon Rangers and more! The four-day event, the largest roots and Americana music festival in the nation, takes place on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, in the heart of Appalachia. MerleFest continues the legacy of Doc Watson and is a benefit for the college. This homecoming of roots music artists and fans draws nearly 80,000 participants every year.

“As well as additions to the lineup, MerleFest is proud to announce that acclaimed Americana singer Nicki Bluhm will join The Waybacks as lead singer for the Hillside Album Hour performance at MerleFest 2016. Each year, roots rockers The Waybacks choose a seminal album to cover in full at the Hillside Album Hour, inviting a special guest to the be the “voice” of the album. Three years of new experiences and nearly non-stop roadwork has had a powerful effect on Nicki Bluhm, spurring creative growth and personal reflection. With her new album, “Loved Wild Lost,” Bluhm affirms her place in the long winding continuum of the California sound, born of folk, rock, country, psychedelia, blues and pop, as ageless, adventurous and ever-adaptive as the Golden State itself.
MerleFest has announced over 100 artists so far, and there are additional performers to be announced in the coming months. The 2016 lineup so far is available online at
“Tickets may be purchased at or by calling 1-800-343-7857. A three-tiered pricing structure is offered for MerleFest 2016. The Early Bird Tier 1 ticket discount is available through February 15, 2016. An Early Bird Tier 2 ticket discount will run from February 16, 2016, through April 27, 2016. The third price tier will be gate pricing.
MerleFest was founded in 1988 in memory of the son of the late American music legend Doc Watson, renowned guitarist Eddy Merle Watson. MerleFest is a celebration of “traditional plus” music, a unique mix of music based on the traditional, roots-oriented sounds of the Appalachian region, including bluegrass and old-time music, and expanded to include Americana, country, blues, rock and many other styles. The festival hosts a diverse mix of artists on its 13 stages during the course of the four-day event. The annual event has become the primary fundraiser for the WCC Endowment Corporation, funding scholarships, capital projects and other educational needs.
“We keep Doc Watson’s ‘traditional plus’ spirit alive each year at MerleFest by inviting artists who will showcase a wide variety of music from multiple genres,” said Steve Johnson, MerleFest artist relations manager. “As in years past, the lineup will continue to develop in the coming months. MerleFest fans have grown accustomed to the special ‘moments’ that organizers plan each year. And the possibility for ‘spontaneous special moments’ is highly likely given the combination of artists that are known to pull together onstage jams at MerleFest.”
“As MerleFest fans have learned, we release up-to-the-minute lineup additions and other festival news through our social media platforms; so staying in touch with us via our electronic newsletter, website (, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter is crucial,” Johnson adds.
“We take pride in always presenting a lineup that is dynamic and diverse,” says Ted Hagaman, festival director. “It’s the quality of the artists and performances that our guests see over the four days of the festival that, in turn, creates another important element of MerleFest’s success: people truly feel that the festival is a great value. So many music fans and families return year after year, making MerleFest a regular spring tradition. We will always work to make that tradition continue.”


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