Musings on folk, Americana, country, bluegrass and newgrass

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Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival cancels Spring 2020 festival

More sad news as music festivals continue to cancel in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, this time from the good folks over at Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival:

CHATHAM COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA — “The time has come to make a tough decision regarding the 18th Annual Spring Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance.

“As you all know, Shakori Hills is a very special place that brings together music and dance fans twice a year to celebrate life and art. Therefore, you know how painful it is to announce the cancellation of the Spring 2020 festival due to the coronavirus.

“Carol Woodell, board president of the Shakori Hills Community Arts Center (SHCAC), would like you to know, “In the interest of slowing the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and with particular concern for the health of our festival family, the performers, staff, and our Chatham County community, it is with deep sadness that we are canceling our Spring festival,” said Carol Woodell, board president of the Shakori Hills Community Arts Center.

“The SHCAC is also cancelling all other programs until further notice, including all Road to Shakori shows, the Junior Appalachian Musicians classes, and multiple voice and art classes.”

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Rooster Walk 12 announces festival is still on for May 21-24 for now

After the sad announcement earlier today that MerleFest 2020 is cancelled, this happy news is just in from the good folks over at the Rooster Walk 12 Music & Arts Festival set for May 21-24, 2020, at Pop’s Farm, located between Martinsville and Danville, Virginia:

“The Rooster Walk Family has been closely monitoring news and government reports concerning the Coronavirus disease. We have been in close communication with Virginia Department of Health officials, and will continue to hold an open dialogue with them in the coming days and weeks.

With Rooster Walk still more than two months away, there’s no need to make an immediate, final decision on the fate of this year’s festival. As such, we are currently proceeding with our plans and hope to host Rooster Walk 12 at Pop’s Farm from May 21-24, 2020. However, we are going to postpone our final band announcement, which was previously scheduled to be released on March 18th. If the festival goes on as scheduled, we will implement expanded safety measures on-site, as suggested by state and federal health organizations, such as extra hand washing & hand sanitizing stations, and extra staffers to sanitize public areas during the festival (tables, door handles, etc.). In addition, we will encourage anyone who is sick, or feels that they may be getting sick, to stay home and not attend the event.

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Consider this before cancelling: MerleFest has more than $12 million regional economic impact

WILKESBORO, NORTH CAROLINA —  MerleFest organizers are agonizing over whether to cancel the music festival that attracts some 80,000 Americana fans honoring the legacies of the late, great Doc and Merle Watson. The deliberations are in direct response to Gov. Roy Cooper’s Thursday announcement about limiting crowds to fewer than 100 to stop the spread of coronavirus.

MerleFest officials wrote on the website Thursday: “We will be issuing an official statement concerning MerleFest 2020 by the close of business on Friday, March 13. Thank you for your patience and support.”

In the meantime, let’s take a look at the economic impact this music festival, which for the past 30 years has acted as the unofficial kick off to the music festival season, has on the region, keeping in mind this does not include music and merchandise sales for the artists, etc.

In 2019, MerleFest reported the following economic impact on the Wilkes Community College; Wilkesboro; and surrounding Wilkes County.

For the uninitiated, WCC closes down its campus during the last full week of April to become home to MerleFest.

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MerleFest to host its 20th year of Acoustic Kids Showcases in 2020

From the good folks over at MerleFest:

WILKESBORO, NORTH CAROLINA — Over the past two decades, hundreds of young musicians have taken part in the Acoustic Kids programming at MerleFest presented by Window World. This year—the showcase’s 20th anniversary—young musicians from the MerleFest audience will once again step on stage and perform in Andy May’s Acoustic Kids Showcases. Some participants are just learning to play their instrument, some play just for the fun of it, and some go on to international renown. Put on by long-time music educator and accomplished multi-instrumentalist, Andy May, Acoustic Kids is open to any musicians ages 16 or younger who register online before March 15.

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Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes to kick off NCMA 2020 Concert Series

From the good folks at the North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA) :

RALEIGH — Summer concerts and movies have been a North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA) tradition for two decades, and we’re excited to launch another season of great music and entertainment. Our venue—the Joseph M. Bryan, Jr., Theater in the Museum Park—is situated in the heart of the Museum campus amid gardens, meadows, woodlands, and sculpture.

Presented with Cat’s Cradle, Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes will perform at 8 p.m. on Sunday, April 26. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Nü Mangos will open the show. Continue reading

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MerleFest, IBMA favorites Scythian return to Lincoln Theatre on Feb. 27

Raleigh, put on your dancing shoes because the boys of Scythian are coming back to town on Thursday, Feb. 27.
They have rocked the dance tent at the annual International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) for years, kept First Night Raleigh attendees warm and festival goers on their feet as perennial favorites at MerleFest and Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion, among many others.
Named after Ukrainian nomads, Scythian (pronounced sith-ee-yin) plays immigrant rock with thunderous energy, blending Irish-Gypsy-American string-rock, clever storytelling, catchy songwriting and humor, beckoning crowds into a barn-dance rock concert experience.
These Celtic rockers will bring their all-ages, high-energy show back to Raleigh’s Lincoln Theatre, 126 E. Cabarrus St. Tickets can be purchased at this link. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.
Chapel Hill singer-songerwriter Jonathan Byrd will take the stage before Scythian. Byrd has been called “a folk singer with the heart of a rock ‘n’ roll band.” Byrd is a preacher’s son, a Gulf War veteran and an award-winning songwriter from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, known for literary, outsider songs that have become campfire favorites. The Chicago Tribune called Byrd “one of the top 50 songwriters of the past 50 years.”

Scythian features tunes with gypsy, Celtic, bluegrass and Americana influences just in time to provide an appropriate warm up for St. Patrick’s Day. The band’s entertaining stage presence, band camaraderie and audience interaction captivates from the first note. Powerful vocals, fiddle, guitar, accordion, upright bass, drums are just a taste of the myriad instruments the quartet brings to its raucous stage causing iHeart Radio to state, “Scythian has reinvented folk rock in America.” And The Washington Post has called Scythian, “Washington D.C.’s most energetic and eclectic band.”