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Musings on folk, Americana, country, bluegrass and newgrass


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2018 Chris Austin Songwriting Contest finalists to perform at MerleFest on Friday, April 27

From the good folks over at MerleFest:
The prestigious Chris Austin Songwriting Contest has announced the 2018 finalists that will perform at MerleFest. The final round of the competition will take place Friday, April 27; first place winners will receive $600 cash and a Friday night performance slot on the Cabin Stage. Now in its 26th year, CASC is an extraordinary opportunity for songwriters to have their original songs heard and judged by a panel of Nashville music industry professionals, under the direction of volunteer contest chairperson, Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Jim Lauderdale. MerleFest, presented by Window World, spans from April 26-29 in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, at Wilkes Community College.

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MerleFest announces impressive lineup of judges for 2018 Chris Austin Songwriting Contest including Rodney Crowell, Andrew Marlin and Johnny Williams

This just in from the good folks over at MerleFest:
WILKESBORO, N.C. (January 10, 2018) – MerleFest, presented by Window World and taking placeApril 26 – 29, 2018, has assembled a distinguished team of songwriters – Rodney Crowell, Andrew Marlin (of Mandolin Orange), and previous winner Johnny Williams (of Jeanette Williams Band) – to judge the on-site final round of this year’s Chris Austin Songwriting Contest.

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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 Chris Austin Songwriting Contest (CASC), we may have never been exposed to these, and many more, talented artists.


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MerleFest announces 2017 Chris Austin Songwriting Contest finalists

From the good folks over at MerleFest, this just in:

WILKESBORO, N.C. (April 4, 2017) – The Chris Austin Songwriting Contest, hosted by MerleFest, announces the finalists for the 2017 contest. MerleFest 2017, presented by Window World, takes place from April 27-30, on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, N.C.

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Zoe & Cloyd to release second album, ‘Eyes Brand New,’ on April 7, tour dates announced for March, April

Listen up: Fans of the former Americana trio Red June will be happy to hear Zoe & Cloyd, the Appalachian roots husband and wife duo that made up two-thirds of that group, have a second full-length album, “Eyes Brand New,” coming out April 7.

I have had the opportunity to hear Zoe & Cloyd perform at MerleFest as well as at SECCA in as part of “MerleFest on the Road.” I was 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, North Carolina, Natalya Zoe Weinstein and John Cloyd Miller — who have been making music together in various arrangements since first meeting in 2005 — recorded the new album at Sound Temple Studios with fellow musician and engineer Chris Rosser.

The CD Release Show will be at 7 p.m. Sunday, April 23, at The Grey Eagle in Asheville. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door. A schedule of the duo’s March and April dates preceding the release show follow.

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On Huffington Post: Help choose which Virginia bands will perform at LOCKN’ 2017

This story can also be found on The Huffington Post here.

A friend asked me recently what my secret is to discovering some of the great new music out there. My answer was easy and immediate: Music festivals. The key to discovering new music is to search out the bands that you have never heard or heard of, those tiny names at the bottom of the poster.

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MerleFest’s 2017 Chris Austin Songwriting Contest closes on Feb. 1

Just a reminder to all the songwriters out there, the deadline to enter MerleFest‘s Chris Austin Songwriting Contest is Feb. 1, 2017. This contest has helped launched the careers of Gillian Welch, Abigail Washburn and Mipso’s Joseph Terrell, who just happens to be a judge this year.

Aspiring songwriters may submit entries to the contest using the online entry form or by mailing entries to MerleFest/CASC, PO Box 120, Wilkesboro, NC 28697. Submissions require a $30 fee per entry. To read more about the contest history, rules and prizes, visit http://merlefest.org/casc#tab-1.
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