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Musings on folk, Americana, country, bluegrass and newgrass


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MerleFest announces finalists for 2019 Chris Austin Songwriting Competition

From the good folks over at MerleFest:
From its first incarnation in 1993, MerleFest’s annual Chris Austin Songwriting Competition has seen the likes of Gillian Welch, Tift Merritt, and Martha Scanlan rise to the top of an always competitive field of up-and-coming songwriters. Legendary songwriters have presided over the competition from the start as judges, too. Darrell Scott, Hayes Carll, and the late, great Guy Clark have all taken a turn at judging the CASC. This year, the event will be judged by Joey Ryan and Kenneth Pattengale, better known as The Milk Carton Kids, Cruz Contreras of The Black Lillies, and Texas-troubadour Radney Foster. Mr. Americana Jim Lauderdale will host the competition and Mark Bumgarner will return as emcee for the finalist contest taking place at MerleFest’s Austin Stage at 2 p.m. on Friday, April 26.

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Raleigh Magazine: MerleFest Grass Roots

The following piece was originally published in the April 2019 issue of Raleigh Magazine:

For the uninitiated, MerleFest wasn’t named for Merle Haggard, although the country legend has performed at the top-rated Americana roots festival over the years. MerleFest, now synonymous with its mix of traditional, roots-oriented music from the Appalachian region, was named for another musician, Eddy Merle Watson, son of the late, great guitarist, singer and songwriter Doc Watson.

A 2.5-hour drive from Raleigh, MerleFest’s 2019 headliners—The Avett Brothers, Brandi Carlile, Wynonna & the Big Noise, Dailey & Vincent, Tyler Childers, Keb’ Mo’, Sam Bush, The Earls of Leicester, Peter Rowan, Amos Lee, The Milk Carton Kids, Steep Canyon Rangers, Scythian and The Del McCoury Band—will no doubt draw music fans to the campus of Wilkes Community College in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

One of the best things about attending MerleFest, whether you’re there for the first time or the 15th, is all of the “new” acts just waiting to be discovered as you wander among the festival’s 13 stages. In between the headliners’ sets on the main Watson Stage are myriad opportunities to check out lesser-known acts among the 80-plus artists set to perform.

Here are six reasons why you should make the short trip to the annual musical homecoming event, which marks the unofficial kickoff to the region’s outdoor music festival season.

Read more here.

 


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MerleFest announces 2019 band competition finalists

The fifth annual MerleFest Band Competition will take place from 11 a.m to 3:30 p.m. on the Plaza Stage on Saturday, April 27.
This year’s band competition finalists include Shay Martin Lovette (Boone, NC), Pretty Little Goat (Brevard, NC), None of the Above (Piedmont Triad, NC), Brooks Forsyth (Boone, NC), Alex Key and the Locksmiths (Wilkesboro, NC), Massive Grass (Wilmington, NC), Redleg Husky (Asheville, NC), and The Mike Mitchell Band (Floyd, Virginia).
Past winners include Ashley Heath and Her Heathens from Asheville (2018), The Trailblazers (2017) and Fireside Collective (2016).

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MerleFest 2019 announces lineup for Late Night Jam hosted by Chatham County Line

This just in from the good folks over at MerleFest:
MerleFest, presented by Window World, is proud to announce the 2019 lineup for their beloved Late Night Jam.  Sponsored by The Bluegrass Situation and hosted by Raleigh’s own Chatham County Line, this year’s Late Night Jam will feature Molly Tuttle, Jim Lauderdale, The Brother Brothers, Donna the Buffalo, Presley Barker, Ana Egge, Steve Poltz, and more.

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Zoe & Cloyd sign with Organic Records, begin working on third album

I’m excited to announce that one of my favorite Americana acts — Zoe & Cloyd — is joining some of my other favorites, Amanda Anne Platt and The Honeycutters, Front Country and Tellico, among others, at Organic Records.

The following press release comes from the good folks over at Organic Records:

ARDEN, NORTH CAROLINA — With music that combines folk, country, old-time and bluegrass, Asheville, North Carolina-based Zoe & Cloyd have created music with deep roots, but a modern message. The duo has now signed with Organic Records and is bringing their spirited songwriting to their third album, due out later this year. Continue reading


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MerleFest 2019 adds Amos Lee, The Milk Carton Kids, Steep Canyon Rangers to lineup

This just in from the good folks over at MerleFest:

WILKESBORO, NORTH CAROLINA — MerleFest, presented by Window World, is proud to announce new artist additions for MerleFest 2019: Amos Lee, The Milk Carton Kids, Steep Canyon Rangers, The Del McCoury Band, The Casey Kristofferson Band, and David Holt. 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, April 25-28. MerleFest is pleased to welcome these six distinguished acts to the 2019 lineup:

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Carolina Bible Camp Bluegrass Festival, Chick-fil-A of Clemmons announce inaugural Davie County High School seniors’ Bluegrass Day on Friday, Sept. 7

From the good folks at the Carolina Bible Camp Bluegrass Festival:

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