Musings on folk, Americana, country, bluegrass and newgrass

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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.



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MerleFest 2017 adds Béla Fleck, The Earls of Leicester featuring Jerry Douglas to 30th anniversary lineup

As if you needed another reason to go to MerleFest this year,  Béla Fleck and The Earls of Leicester featuring Jerry Douglas, a supergroup homage to Flatt & Scruggs made up of several of bluegrass’s finest musicians, have been added to the 30th annual event honoring the late, great Doc Watson and his son, Merle, on Saturday, April 29, on the campus of Wilkes Community College. 

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MerleFest adds The Avett Brothers, Chatham County Line, Mandolin Orange, Steep Canyon Rangers and Sierra Hull to 30th anniversary lineup

From the good folks at MerleFest:

WILKESBORO, N.C.  – MerleFest, presented by Window World and slated for April 27-30, 2017, is proud to announce six more additions to the 2017 lineup: The Avett Brothers, Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy, Chatham County Line Electric Holiday, Mandolin Orange, Steep Canyon Rangers and Sierra Hull.

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New ways to ring in the new year in North Carolina, Virginia

On New Year’s Eve, more than a million people will gather in New York City’s Times Square to watch a crystal ball drop and more than 100,000 people are expected to gather in Nashville’s Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park to watch the musical note drop. But if big crowds aren’t your idea of a party, here’s some musical alternatives to ring in the new year:

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Welcome 2016 with music instead of overhyped NYE party

I ran across this meme the other day compliments of a friend, who shared it on social media:


Admit it, we’ve all done it. This year, however, will be different. If you choose to go out, you’ll welcome the new year by listening to one of your favorite bands with like-minded fans — instead of attending some overpriced and ultimately disappointing party.

The Avett Brothers were trailblazers 10 years ago with a NYE show at Charlotte’s Neighborhood Theatre. Now, everyone seems to be getting in on the idea.

Following is just a smattering of the NYE concert options happening in the Southeast and beyond. If you know of a show worth noting I failed to mention, please add to the comments. Enjoy and be safe out there! This also ran on The Huffington Post here. Continue reading

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NASCAR, Wrestling and The Avett Brothers

The following was originally posted on my Huffington Post blog here.

Dolph Ramseur isn’t the most likely person to manage The Avett Brothers.

Ramseur had no musical background — other than being an appreciative listener — when he started Ramseur Records in Concord, North Carolina. In fact, until July 2000 his instrument of choice was a tennis racquet.

“I taught tennis at country clubs including Forsyth Country Club, and I was the tennis director for Hanes Park in Winston-Salem from 1993-95,” he said. “But I was always fascinated by music. I don’t play, I’m just a really big fan.”

So how does a country club tennis pro learn to promote musicians? Ramseur says he had some of the best teachers in his backyard, namely NASCAR, the National Wrestling Alliance and Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling and WBTV.

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