From the good folks over at MerleFest:
Presented by Window World, MerleFest is proud to announce the initial lineup for MerleFest 2020, which will be held April 23-26. The annual homecoming of musicians and music fans returns to the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
“For over 30 years, one of the major factors that has built and sustained MerleFest has been the quality of the artists and performances that our guests see over the four-day festival,” says Ted Hagaman, festival director. “People truly feel that the festival is a great value and that is why music fans and families return year after year. We feel that the 2020 lineup again reflects the diversity and quality of performers, and we look forward to another successful festival in April.”
The complete lineup for MerleFest 2020 will be announced over the next few months. For more information, visit www.MerleFest.org.
Today’s lineup announcement includes Willie Nelson & Family, Alison Krauss, The Jerry Douglas Band, Sam Bush, Jim Lauderdale, Kruger Brothers, The Waybacks, Scythian, Donna The Buffalo, Peter Rowan and the Free Mexican Airforce, Tommy Emmanuel, Shinyribs, Charley Crockett, Darrell Scott, The Steel Wheels, Robbie Fulks, Amythyst Kiah, Cordovas, Alison Brown, Andy May, “B” Townes, Banknotes, Bill & The Belles, Bryan Sutton, Carol Rifkin, Charles Welch, Chatham Rabbits, Che Apalache, The Cleverlys, Creole Stomp with Dennis Stroughmatt, David Holt, Fireside Collective, Flattop, Happy Traum, Hogslop String Band, InterACTive Theatre of Jef, Irish Mythen, Iron Horse Bluegrass, Jack Lawrence, Jeff Little Trio, Jody Carroll, Joe Smothers, Ken Crouse, Laura Boosinger, The Local Boys, Los Texmaniacs, Mark Bumgarner, Mary Flower, Mitch Greenhill, Pete & Joan Wernick, Piedmont Bluz, Presley Barker, Rev. Robert Jones, Roy Book Binder, Sierra Ferrell, String Madness, T. Michael Coleman, Tony Williamson, Wayne Henderson, The Moore Brothers, The Williams Brothers, and Wyld Fern.
Tickets for next year’s festival go on sale today and may be purchased at http://www.MerleFest.org or by calling 1-800-343-7857. MerleFest offers a three-tiered pricing structure and encourages fans to take advantage of the extended early bird discount. Early Bird Tier 1 tickets may be purchased from November 12 to February 16, 2020; Early Bird Tier 2 tickets from February 17 to April 22. Remaining tickets will be sold at the gate during the festival.
PITTSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA — The 16th Annual Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance is set for Oct. 3–6 on an idyllic 72 acres in bucolic Chatham County, less than an hour’s drive from Raleigh, Durham and Greensboro.
More than 50 performers, including Galactic, Donna the Buffalo, Roosevelt Collier, Tan and Sober Gentlemen and Shiloh Hill, will appear on four stages over four days. Other activities include yoga, dance and sustainability workshops.
The festival site has been described as a “music lovers’ paradise” and offers affordable tent, vehicle and RV camping options. Four-day and single-day tickets are on sale now and children 12 and under are free with a paying adult. Learn more at https://shakorihillsgrassroots.org/tickets-info/
The nonprofit festival benefits the Shakori Hills Community Arts Center. The Arts Center provides free, or greatly reduced, music and arts programming to Chatham, Orange and Durham counties.
The following ticket outlets will have four-day tickets:
Circle City Books (Pittsboro)
The Regulator Bookshop (Durham)
Townsend Bertram & Co (Carrboro)
Schoolkids Records (Raleigh & Chapel Hill)
Redix Store (Wilmington & Wrightsville Beach)
REI Co-op (Raleigh, Cary, Durham)
Douglas continued, “Little did I know that later in life he would be my friend.A s far as I’m concerned this festival named in his honor is far overdue. But I also believe that’s the way Earl would want it to be. We can only hope that we can make him proud in how we perceive his legacy to the world.”
Douglas, who started his group the Earls of Leicester as a tribute to Scruggs, will act as musician in resident for the festival.
Few other artists in American history have had such an impact as Scruggs, according to a festival press release. His work in 1946/47 with Bill Monroe & the Blue Grass Boys and later with Flatt and Scruggs helped create an entire genre of music. His banjo playing was so fresh and different for the time that it was christened the “Scruggs style” of banjo and is still the most prominent banjo performance style in the world.
“Earl was my uncle, so I knew him a long time,” says JT Scruggs, a board member of the Earl Scruggs Center. “The first Earl Scruggs Music Festival presents an opportunity to bring exposure and new visitors to the Earl Scruggs Center in Shelby, North Carolina. The proceeds from the festival will also help to keep the center in good financial shape. The festival will bring great music and many different groups to the region. And I hope that people will hear things about Earl that they may have never heard before as all the artists share their personal stories. I know that Earl would be proud of what we are doing and that we are remembering him through the festival.”
Noah Wall of The Barefoot Movement grew up in North Carolina.
“I feel so lucky to have that in common with legends like Earl Scruggs,” he said. “He was such a trailblazer, not just a pioneer of bluegrass, but he also pushed the boundaries of traditional music. I don’t think he set out to be different for the sake of standing out, I think he did it for sake of the music itself. He just sought after good music, music that moved him, and that is so inspiring to me.”
If you are attending this week’s International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA)’s World of Bluegrass conference and festival in Raleigh, North Carolina, you hopefully have a chance to catch one of Zoe & Cloyd‘s many sets as one the event’s Official Showcase Artists.
The duo — Western North Carolina natives Natalya Zoe Weinstein and John Cloyd Miller — have been on my radar since I discovered them at MerleFest. Fans of the former Americana trio Red June will recognize the Appalachian roots husband and wife duo that made up two-thirds of that group.
I continue to be particularly impressed by the fiddle stylings of Weinstein and the guitar and banjo talents of Miller as well as their gorgeous harmonies. Their traditional approach to their music take you back to an earlier era. If you like Mandolin Orange, you’ll like Zoe & Cloyd.
Based in Asheville, the couple have been making music together in various arrangements since first meeting in 2005.
I had a chance to chat briefly with Weinstein after the band’s set at Social Architect on Wednesday night and she said they were really excited to be featured again as IBMA Official Showcase Artists, an honor they haven’t enjoyed since 2016. In addition to performing during the week at the business conference you can find them playing at the free WOB StreetFest on Friday and Saturday in downtown Raleigh.
“This week is always a highlight of our year, and we are really looking forward to catching up with folks and hearing lots of great music,” Weinstein said.
At the end of their toe-tapping inducing performance, they rolled out a new tune, “Only Game In Town,” which lead Weinsteint to joke with the audience that during IBMA at least, this was NOT the case.
WILKESBORO, NORTH CAROLINA — MerleFest, presented by Window World, will begin accepting entries for the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest (CASC) on Wednesday, Oct. 1, according to a press release.
CASC is one of the most acclaimed songwriting contests in roots and Americana music and has a reputation for launching careers as well as drawing attention to important new talent. The contest is split into four genre-based categories including bluegrass, general, gospel, and country. First through third place winners will be chosen in each category at MerleFest 2020, set to take place on April 23 – 26, 2020.
MerleFest is an annual homecoming of musicians and music fans on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro. First-tier tickets for MerleFest 2020 will go on sale on Nov. 12, with Tier 2 pricing beginning Feb. 17, 2020, and Tier 3 pricing beginning April 23, 2020.
The Kruger Brothers own homegrown music festival, Carolina in the Fall Music & Food Festival, has been on the rise ever since it received IBMA’s Momentum Award and this year is no exception.
In addition to the Kruger Brothers, festival goers will have the chance to hear Balsam Range; Chatham County Line; The Black Lillies; EmiSunshine; Hawktail; Trout Steak Revival; Scott Mulvahill; Cicada Rhythm; The Contenders; The Honey Dewdrops; Baucom & Jones; Williamson Branch; Hank, Pattie & The Current; Zoe & Cloyd; Red Wine; Newberry & Verch; Presley Barker; Lateral Blue; Nikki Talley; Thurler-Mosimann Project; Carly Bannister, S. Grant Parker and Jac Thompson; The Burnett Sisters; Cane Mill Road; Back Porch Bluegrass Band; Shay Martin Lovette; Alex Key & The Locksmiths; and Bob and Roberta Kogut.
Check out the official press release below and learn more at www.carolinainthefall.org