Musings on folk, Americana, country, bluegrass and newgrass

Second annual Kruger Brothers’ ‘Carolina in the Fall’ music and food festival features Infamous Stringdusters, The Steel Wheels on Sept. 23-24 in Wilkesboro, N.C.

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MerleFest fans who make the annual trek to Wilkesboro, North Carolina, to hear their favorite bluegrass and Americana artists every April are in luck because they don’t have to wait until next spring to hear some great music thanks to the Kruger Brothers, hosts of Carolina in the Fall.

For the second year in a row, Heart of Folk LLC brings “New Carolina Music”  and a new (but not so new) music and food festival to the old Courthouse Square in historic downtown Wilkesboro featuring some of North Carolina’s best folk/ roots musicians. They will be joined by bands from other areas that tip their hats to the rich musical history of Wilkes, the heart of American Folk Music.

From the press release, “Wilkes Communications, Inc. continues its tradition of celebrating the heritage of western North Carolina through music, food and beverage. On September 23rd and 24th, 2016, over 100 musicians, chefs, vintners and craft beer brewers from the region will gather on Main Street in Wilkesboro, N.C., to engage audiences with the best of their craft.

This year’s lineup includes The Kruger Brothers, The Infamous Stringdusters, The Steel Wheels, The Symphony of the Mountains, Flatt Lonesome, Nora Jane Struthers and the Party Line, The Snyder Family Band, Front Country and many others.

The Kruger Brothers

Originally from Switzerland, brothers Uwe and Jens Kruger began playing North American folk music at an early age and were particularly inspired by recordings of Doc Watson, Flatt and Scruggs, Bill Monroe, and other progenitors of country, bluegrass and folk music. Their first public performances were as a duo, busking on the streets of cities throughout eastern and Western Europe.

After gaining a recording contract as well as a radio show on SRG SSR, the Swiss public broadcaster, they teamed up with bass player Joel Landsberg, inaugurating a trio that has been playing professionally together since 1995. Landsberg is an American citizen from New York, NY. The Kruger Brothers moved to the United States in 2002, and are based in Wilkesboro, NC. Through their numerous CD releases, radio and television performances, lectures, and collaborative efforts, The Kruger Brothers’ powerful artistic statement continues to inspire and enlighten audiences and musicians around the world.

The Infamous Stringdusters

GRAMMY-nominated The Infamous Stringdusters – Andy Hall (Dobro), Andy Falco (guitar), Jeremy Garrett (fiddle), Travis Book (double bass), and Pandolfi (banjo) – are as comfortable at a dirt road pickin’ session as they are on an amphitheatre stage, a collection of talents that can whisper and roar as the circumstance demands, responding in real time to their surroundings, working the angles as they ply their craft and raise their sinewy voices with limber grace.

“What we do is a hybrid of the improvisational and bluegrass worlds. We take a lot of pride in that. While our music is our own concept, hopefully it does justice to the amazing components of the bluegrass world,” says Stringdusters Chris Pandolfi. “We love to present what we do but we always call on the bluegrass world of chops, technique, and traditions.”

Equal parts old school cats and modern operators, the Stringdusters’ latest album, Ladies & Gentlemen (Compass Records) spotlights the band’s gift for incorporating guests into their world by rolling out the red carpet for an eclectic array of female singers lending their pipes to a dozen original Stringdusters compositions.

The Steel Wheels

Some things come to be in their own time, of their own accord. Such has been the case with The Steel Wheels. In the beginning, it was simply a matter of four young men who’d happened to cross paths at a formative moment in each of their lives reveling in the shared experience of plucking acoustic instruments and blending their voices. But over the years, what had begun organically as a pure lark evolved into a mission: to fuse the personal with the universal, the deeply rooted past with the joys and sorrows of everyday existence.

The award winning foursome’s latest work, Leave Some Things Behind stands as the culmination of these five years of maturation and intensive roadwork. Whereas the previous albums were essentially collected snapshots of The Steel Wheels at certain points in time, the new work turns on a concept that dates back to Homer—and the Old Testament.

Home, family, community (further evidenced in the band’s annual Red Wing Roots Music Festival, the fourth edition of which will take place in July), a sense of belonging, seeking and finding, the pendulum of gains and losses—these are the Big Issues embedded into the fabric of Leave Some Things Behind, an album that promises to be as enduringly relevant for the listener as it will always remain for the dedicated artists who poured their hearts and souls into its creation.

Symphony of the Mountains

Since 1946 Symphony of the Mountains has been at the center of artistic life in the Mountain Empire. Symphony of the Mountains is the only fully-professional orchestra to serve the region. Under the direction of Cornelia Laemmli, the orchestra performs repertoire representative of many regions and nationalities – European Classical, American Popular and Jazz, Appalachian Folk and Many varieties of World Music.

The Symphony of the Mountains will be joining the Kruger Brothers for a very special presentation of Spirit of the Rockies. Spirit of the Rockies is a musical work written by The Kruger Brothers for the Banff Center in Alberta, Canada and is a tribute to the beauty of the mountains and lakes from that region.

Each evening during the festival, the Kruger Brothers will host the Carolina Jam™ at the Yadkin Valley Event Center at the Wilkesboro Holiday Inn Express. Artists from each day will come together to present once in a lifetime, unforgettable jam sessions. Last year’s Jams were the talk of the festival and beyond. These sessions are available to those that purchase a VIP ticket.

In addition to great music, those that attend the festival will enjoy some of North Carolina’s best food as food trucks from across the state will bring their amazing recipes to feed the masses and vie for the coveted Carolina in the Fall™ Food Truck Championship Award. If you have a grown-up thirst, local vineyards and regional craft beer breweries will be onsite to provide a taste of the region’s best adult beverages.

In its’ second year, Carolina in the Fall has already become an annual pilgrimage for music and food lovers from around the nation. Local accommodations consist of campgrounds and area hotels. The Town of Wilkesboro is opening up the Sewerfest Campground for the Carolina in the Fall™ festival. Contact them at to reserve your campsite or click the link on the festival website.

Carolina in the Fall Music and Food Festival™ is made possible through the partnership of Heart of Folk, LLC, Wilkes Communications, Inc., the Kruger Brothers and Town of Wilkesboro.

The lineup includes:

The Kruger Brothers | The Infamous Stringdusters | The Steel Wheels | Symphony of the Mountains | Flatt Lonesome | Humming HouseSnyder Family Band | Nora Jane Struthers and the Party Line | Front Country | Molly Tuttle Band | Slocan Ramblers | Sarah Siskind (w/ Travis Book) | Locust Honey | The Contenders | BackPorch Bluegrass | The Honey Dewdrops | The Buck Stops Here | The Hook & Bullet | Moore Family Band | The Non-Prophets | Time Sawyer | The Trailblazers | ShadowGrass | Wayne Henderson & Friends | Bandits Roost | Strictly Strings | Uncle Joe & the Shady Rest | Cane Mill Road | Bob & Roberta Kogut | Foothill Cloggers | High Country Cloggers |


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