musicreporterblog

Musings on folk, Americana, country, bluegrass and newgrass


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Entries for MerleFest’s annual Chris Austin Songwriting Contest accepted beginning Oct. 1

To borrow a line from the late, great George Jones, imagine a world without the amazing and refreshing musical stylings of Gillian Welch, Tiff Merritt, Mipso’s Joseph Terrell or Melody Walker of Front Country fame.
If it wasn’t for MerleFest’s Christ Austin Songwriting Contest (CASC), we may have never been exposed to these, and many more, talented artists.
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It’s not too soon to reserve tickets for Robert Earl Keen’s expanded annual Christmas Tour

If you think it’s too early to start thinking about Christmas, I would agree. The sight of Christmas debris I spotted lining shelves at the local discount store this weekend, pushing Halloween and autumn decor aside, made me inwardly groan. Visions of Kenan Thompson’s now infamous Saturday Night Live skit, in which he declares it’s “too soon” for Yuletide decorations, echoed in my head.

But there is one holiday tradition to plan for that’s never too soon. It’s Americana icon Robert Earl Keen’s annual holiday show and some tickets for this coveted event, “Back to the Country Jamboree,” go on sale Monday, Sept. 18. Continue reading


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The Kruger Brothers to host third annual Carolina in the Fall Music and Food Festival on Sept. 22-23

The third annual Carolina In The Fall Music and Food Festival presented by Wilkes Communications Inc. and hosted by  The Kruger Brothers is set for Friday and Saturday, Sept. 22-23.

The festival continues its tradition of celebrating the heritage of western North Carolina through music, food and beverages. More than 100 musicians, chefs, vintners and craft beer brewers from the region will gather on Main Street in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, to engage audiences with the best of their craft, according to a release.

“We made a big change last year, the festival grounds were open to the public with no admission charge,” explains Dale Isom, festival organizer. “Folks enjoyed the food trucks and shopped at the vendor mall without having to purchase a wristband. This was a big success as many folks came down just to enjoy the food and the festival environment. We will continue this again this year and invite folks to come down and enjoy the street festival portion of Carolina in the Fall. Those wishing to take in the music will have to purchase a wristband to enter the music venues.”

Wilkes County’s own The Kruger Brothers will welcome some of North Carolina’s best folk/ roots music bands. They will be joined by some of the nation’s best bands from other regions that tip their hats to the rich musical history of Wilkes, the Heart of American Folk Music™. In addition to The Kruger Brothers, the festival line-up includes Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors, The Black Lillies, The Hunts, Terry Baucom’s Dukes of Drive, Darin and Brooke Aldridge, the Snyder Family Band, Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys, and many others. Continue reading


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Annual Apex Music Festival promises live music, local craft beers on Saturday, Sept. 16

If you are in the Triangle area of North Carolina this weekend and you are interested in taking in some live music and local craft brews, head over to downtown Apex from 3 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, Sept. 16. In exchange for an Alexander Hamilton (that’s $10) you can catch nearly 20 acts and taste even more beers (the beers are extra). Just make sure you have a DD or a rideshare app on your phone and enjoy! Continue reading


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Gypsy jazz guitarist Stephane Wrembel to perform at Pop’s Farm in Axton, Virginia, on Saturday, Sept. 23

From the good folks at Rooster Walk Music and Arts Festival:

Rooster Walk & Deschutes Breweryare joining forces to present world-renowned gypsy jazz guitarist Stephane Wrembel & His Bandat Pop’s Farm on Saturday, Sept. 23rd! Amazing local jazz group 5 Brothers (featuring David Oakes) will kick off the evening. Tickets cost $12 in advance and $15 day of show.  Buy them HERE.

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Don’t miss Billy Strings, Whiskey Shivers perform free on the American Tobacco Campus on Thursday, Sept. 14

Want to catch two of the hottest Americana/roots musical acts of 2017? For free? Head over from 6 to 9 p.m on Thursday, Sept. 14, to the American Tobacco Amphitheater on Durham, North Carolina’s American Tobacco Campus for WUNC’s latest installment of Back Porch Music.

Featuring wunderkind Billy Strings and Austin’s alt country rockers Whiskey Shivers, the show is free and open to the public. Parking is $6 per car and children, dogs and picnic baskets are welcome. Continue reading


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17 reasons to attend the 2017 Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion on Sept. 15-17

If you are a fan of roots, rock, country, bluegrass, blues, old-time, folk and Americana music, then you are already a fan of the annual Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion held on State Street in Historic Downtown Bristol, Tennessee-Virginia, that celebrates the twin cities’ history as the birthplace of country music. This year’s  17th annual three-day music cornucopia that features 100 live acts across 20 stages is set for Friday, Sept. 15, through Sunday, Sept. 17. 

Headliners include Dwight Yoakam, Judah & the Lion, Jerry Douglas Presents: Earls of Leicester, Son Volt, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Rainbow Kitten Surprise, Deer Tick and The Infamous Stringdusters.
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