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Musings on folk, Americana, country, bluegrass and newgrass


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Time is running out to get tickets to Doc Watson tribute ‘Docabilly’ featuring Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder

From the good folks at Acoustic Routes Concerts:

ANN ARBOR, Michigan – Acoustic Routes Concerts has announced Docabilly! – a celebration of the music of Arthel “Doc” Watson on what would have been his 95th birthday – is on track to sell out with fewer than 100 tickets remaining. Continue reading

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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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Wild Ponies get back to their roots with ‘Galax’

What happens when you throw a group of Nashville and Galax, Virginia, musicians who have never played together in a barn behind a farmhouse nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains? Musical magic.

That’s exactly what happened a year ago this month when the Wild Ponies – otherwise known as Doug and Telisha Williams – decided to get back to their musical and geographic roots.

“I had spent a lot time playing on my grandfather’s farm and it’s just a beautiful place to spend some time,” Doug said in a recent phone interview. “We wanted to play with people who played with my grandfather and then get some people from Nashville to play as well. It just felt like something we needed to do.” Continue reading


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The Kruger Brothers trio to release ‘The Roan Mountain Suite’ at MerleFest 2017

The Kruger Brothers trio are releasing a remarkable new project, “The Roan Mountain Suite,” on April 28 as part of MerleFest’s 30th anniversary celebration that runs through April 30. This weekend also marks the trio’s 20th anniversary at the Americana music festival held on the grounds of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina.

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The Steel Wheels to release newest album, ‘Wild As We Came Here,’ at MerleFest 2017

For The Steel Wheels, playing at MerleFest for the fourth time might just be a charm.

That’s because this four-piece Virginia-based string band is releasing its newest album, “Wild As We Came Here,” exclusively at the 30th anniversary of the Americana festival honoring the late, great Doc Watson, and his son Merle. The album will be officially released on May 5.

“There is no place better than MerleFest to release a brand-new album,” says Trent Wagler, who plays guitar and banjo in the band and writes most of its material. “It’s great to release a record in the spring time. It makes a lot of sense … you get something out right at the beginning of the touring year.”

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Early bird tickets for MerleFest 30th anniversary celebration available through Wednesday, April 26

From the good folks over at MerleFest:

With only one week until the start of MerleFest 2017, presented by Window World, the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, is buzzing with activity. Starting next Thursday, April 27, at 2:30 p.m., and running through Sunday, April 30, an estimated 75,000 participants will gather at this year’s 30th homecoming of musicians and music lovers to celebrate the world renowned MerleFest.

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The Avett Brothers to perform special tribute to Doc Watson at 30th anniversary of MerleFest

This just in from the good folks over at MerleFest:

Seth Avett of The Avett Brothers announced via email today that the group has a very special tribute planned for the 30th anniversary of MerleFest, which is coming up April 27-30, 2017, in Wilkesboro, North Carolina.

On Saturday we will perform a full set comprised entirely of songs we learned from Doc Watson. His influence upon this band is of such a profound nature that the task of narrowing the setlist to a reasonable length is nearly as difficult as the material itself. No one could play those songs like Doc, but we look forward with great enthusiasm to the chance to honor him by sharing our renditions at one of the finest festivals we’ve ever been a part of.”

The tribute will be performed on the Hillside Stage before the popular Album Hour. The Avett Brothers are scheduled to play Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the festival.