Tag Archives: Merlefest

Leading American Roots Festival Sneak Peek with MerleFest on the Road

Locust Honey

MerleFest, the popular American roots music festival founded by influential musician Doc Watson will offer music fans a sneak peek of this spring’s festival with MerleFest on the Road. The festival will present various artists on tour throughout the Southeastern United Sytates during March. The tour will present select artists that will perform at MerleFest 2017 or have performed previously at the festival: Mark Bumgarner, Jonathan Byrd & The Pickup Cowboys, and Locust Honey.

MerleFest 2017 will take place from April 27-30 on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina.

Tour Schedule:

Thursday, February 23 – Floyd Country Store, Floyd, Virginia.
Friday, February 24 – Gaston County Museum, Dallas, North Carolina
Saturday, February 25 – Willingham Theater, Yadkinville, North Carolina
Sunday, February 26 – Hendershot’s Coffee Bar, Athens, Georgia
Thursday, March 2 – Isis Music Hall, Asheville, North Carolina
Friday, March 3 – Down Home, Johnson City, Tennessee.
Saturday, March 4 – Van Dyke Performance Space, Greensboro, North Carolina
Sunday, March 5 – Motorco, Durham, North Carolina

More about Merlefest: merlefest.org

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MerleFest Announces Six More Artists to 2017 Lineup

The great American roots music festival MerleFest has announced six more acts 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. MerleFest is presented by Window World and scheduled for April 27-30, 2017.

This year will be the 30th celebration of this influential music festival that attracts over 75,000 participants every year. MerleFest has already announced over 75 artists for 2017, including Zac Brown Band with a very special acoustic set, Del McCoury Band, Jim Lauderdale, Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Peter Rowan, Mountain Heart and many more. The rest of the lineup for MerleFest 2017 will be revealed over the next few months.

Tickets for MerleFest 2017 are on sale now and may be purchased at MerleFest.org or by calling 1-800-343-7857.

headline photo: The Avett Brothers

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MerleFest 2016 Announces Chris Austin Songwriting Contest Winners

MerleFest 2016 honoring the winners of the 24th Annual Chris Austin Songwriting Contest. The finalists are pictured with Jim Lauderdale and the judges of the contest. Photo by Jim Thompson
MerleFest 2016 honoring the winners of the 24th Annual Chris Austin Songwriting Contest. The finalists are pictured with Jim Lauderdale and the judges of the contest. Photo by Jim Thompson

Yesterday evening, bluegrass and American roots music festival MerleFest announced the winners of the 2016 Chris Austin Songwriting Contest. Writers of the following 12 songs were selected from 744 entries and competed on the Austin Stage at MerleFest on Friday, April 29.

MerleFest 2016 winners:

Bluegrass
1st Place – Aaron Bibelhauser (Louisville, Ky.) – “Blue Collar Dreams”
2nd Place – Courtney Rorrer (Madison, N.C.) and Asa Gravley (Beckley, West Va.) – “Midnight Tears”
3rd Place – Cindy Giejda (Farmingdale, N.J.) – “Jail Break”

Gospel/Inspirational
1st Place – Marcy Each (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) – “On the Cross Built for Me”
2nd Place – Austin Stanley (Nashville, Tenn.) – “The Face of God”
3rd Place – Corey Smith and Allen Smith (Fayetteville, N.C.) – “The Road”

Country
1st Place – Buddy Guido (Mohawk, N.Y.), Paul Kelly (Santa Fe, N.M.) and Willie Scheollkopf (Buffalo, N.Y.) – “This Livin’ May Be Killing Me”
2nd Place – Sarah Morris (Shoreview, Minn.) – “I Go Back”
3rd Place – Meris Gantt of Handlebar Betty (Blowing Rock, N.C) – “House of Cards”

General
1st Place – Sarah Sample (Sheridan, Wyo.) – “A Heart That Falls Apart”
1st Place – Adam Bonomo (Brooklyn, N.Y.) – “Redshifted”
2nd Place – David Morris (Gaithersburg, Md.) and Chris Dockins (Burke, Va.) – “Weeds”

Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Jim Lauderdale served as volunteer contest chairperson. The on-site judges for the final round were critically acclaimed bluegrass multi-instrumentalist Milan Miller; 2013 CASC winner and founding member of acclaimed Americana trio Red June John Cloyd Miller: and singer-songwriter Sarah Potenza, best known for her recent success on NBC’s “The Voice” and second place win in the 2014 CASC. All finalists took part in a songwriting mentoring session with Jim Lauderdale and the on-site judges.

The first place winners in each category received $600 cash from MerleFest, performed on the Cabin Stage on Friday night to rave reviews and were even joined at one point by superstar bluegrass fiddler Michael Cleveland as a special surprise.

The first round of the CASC competition takes place in Nashville, Tennessee and is narrowed down to 12 finalists representing four categories: bluegrass, country, general and gospel/inspirational.

Judging is based on a song’s originality, lyrics, melody and overall commercial potential. The contest is open to those whose primary source of income (50 percent or more) is not derived from songwriting or publishing.

The Chris Austin Songwriting Contest is a unique opportunity for aspiring writers to have their original songs heard and judged by a panel of Nashville music industry professionals, under the direction of this year’s volunteer contest chairperson Jim Lauderdale. Judging is based on a song’s originality, lyrics, melody and overall commercial potential.

Net proceeds from the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest help support the Wilkes Community College Chris Austin Memorial Scholarship. Since its inception the scholarship has awarded over $38,000 to 81 deserving students. Previous winners of the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest include Gillian Welch, Tift Merritt, Michael Reno Harrell, Adrienne Young, Martha Scanlan, David Via and Johnny Williams.

For more details about the contest, visit www.merlefest.org/ChrisAustinSongwritingContest.

Photo:

Caption: .

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Festival Preview with MerleFest on the Road

Tellico
Tellico

MerleFest, the well-liked music festival founded by the legendary Doc Watson, will present a preview of this spring’s festival when MerleFest on the Road tours throughout the Southeastern United States during March. The tour will feature first-rate artists scheduled to perform at MerleFest 2016: Tellico, High Plains Jamboree and Zoe & Cloyd.

The MerleFest on the Road performers provide a sampling of bluegrass and old-time artists scheduled to perform at MerleFest 2016,” said Steve Johnson, MerleFest artist relations manager. “It is important to remember that MerleFest cannot be defined by just one genre such as bluegrass or old-time. Doc Watson created the genre moniker of traditional-plus, ‘meaning the traditional music of the Appalachian region plus whatever other styles we were in the mood to play. Since the beginning, the people of the college and I have agreed that the music of MerleFest is ‘traditional plus’.’”

Tellico is based in in Asheville, North Carolina’s thriving roots music scene. The band is rooted in bluegrass but with an unbridled organic “Appalachiacana” sound, combining some of the finest voices, songs and instrumental prowess in western North Carolina and beyond. MerleFest fans know most of the band members from Dehlia Low. www.tellicoband.com

High Plains Jamboree
High Plains Jamboree

High Plains Jamboree is making its own jukebox memories, playing decades old favorites and original songs. With roots in Northern bluegrass and Southern troubadour country, these four veteran Austin, Texas, musicians bring a well-defined Texas flavor to this new string band’s writing and singing. www.highplainsjamboree.com

Zoe & Cloyd
Zoe & Cloyd

Zoe & Cloyd, a husband-wife duo from Asheville, combine a foundation in traditional bluegrass and old-time Appalachian music with a modern sensibility. They are known for their haunting mountain voices, instrumental prowess and songwriting. They have been making music together for ten years, including with MerleFest favorite Red June. www.zoeandcloyd.com

MerleFest 2016 will take place from April 28 to May 1 on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, where the MerleFest on the Road artists will be joined by John Prine, Old Crow Medicine Show, Jason Isbell, Brandi Carlile, The Wood Brothers, The Steep Canyon Rangers and many others.

Thursday, March 3 – Isis Music Hall – Asheville, North Carolina
Friday, March 4, 2016 – Harvester Performance Center – Rocky Mount, Virginia*
Saturday, March 5 – Willingham Theater – Yadkinville, North Carolina
Sunday, March 6 – The Willow Tree – Johnson City, Tennessee*
Wednesday, March 9 – “Tennessee Shines” at Boyd’s Jig and Reel – Knoxville, Tennessee*
Thursday, March 10 –The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art presented by the Blue Ridge Music Center – Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Friday, March 11 – Gaston County Museum – Dallas, North Carolina
Saturday, March 12 – Triad Acoustic Stage at the Carolina Theater – Greensboro, North Carolina
Sunday, March 13 – The Evening Muse -| Charlotte, North Carolina*

(*Tellico and High Plains Jamboree only.)

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MerleFest Box Office Opened This Week

Wilkesboro (North Carolina), USA – The MerleFest box office opens at 2:00 pm eastern standard time on November 13, 2007 for ticket sales for the 2008 event. MerleFest 2008, presented by Lowe’s, will feature artists from a variety of styles and genres to celebrate the music of Doc and Merle Watson for the 21st year. Once again Doc Watson will host the four-day festival to be held on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, NC on April 24-27, 2008.

Doc and Richard Watson, Merle’s father and son respectively, will be joined by The Avett Brothers; Abigail Washburn & The Sparrow Quartet featuring Bela Fleck, Casey Driessen, & Ben Sollee; Sam Bush; The Carolina Chocolate Drops; Jerry Douglas; Levon Helm & The Midnight Ramble on the Road with Special Guests; Tim O’Brien; The Waifs; The Waybacks; Old Crow Medicine Show; Solas “Reunion,”with Karan Casey & John Doyle; Ricky Skaggs & Bruce Hornsby with Kentucky Thunder; Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mtn Boys; Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives; Dan Tyminski Band; Alison Brown Quartet with Joe Craven; Donna The Buffalo; Blue Highway; The Claire Lynch Band; Dirk Powell & Riley Baugus; Tony Rice; Peter Rowan; Ollabelle; Sally Van Meter; Rhonda Vincent & The Rage; Pete Wernick & Flexigrass.MerleFest will also feature performances by Bearfoot; The John Cowan Band; David Holt; The Infamous Stringdusters; Jorma Kaukonen; Laurie Lewis & The Right Hands; The Lovell Sisters; Nashville Bluegrass Band; Tift Merritt; The Wilders; Susana & Timmy Abell; Tom Ball & Kenny Sultan; Banknotes; Roy Book Binder; Laura Boosinger; Bob Carlin & Cheick Hamala Diabate; The Captain’s Crew; Carl & Kelli Jones; The Circuit Riders; T. Michael Coleman; Robert Dotson; Mike Dowling; Ruthie Foster; Future Traditions; Terry Garland; Buddy Greene; Mitch Greenhill; George Hamilton IV and George Hamilton V; Bob Hill; Hot Buttered Rum; Clint Howard Band; Sierra Hull & Highway 111; The InterACTive Theater of Jef; Phil Jamison; The Key City Boys; Jim Lauderdale; Jack Lawrence; Mark Lippard; Jeff Little; The Local Boys; Bill Mathis; Cliff Miller; Paul Oscher; The Pine Leaf Boys; Polecat Creek; Tom Sauber; Shana Banana; ShoeFly; Ryan Shupe & The RubberBand; Joe Smothers; Rafe Stefanini and Clelia Stefanini; Rodney Sutton; Tish Hinojosa; Tut Taylor; Joe Thompson; Happy Traum; Bil VornDick; Charles Welch; Whitetop Mountain Band; Wilkes Acoustic Folk Society; The Alberti Flea Circus; Buffalo Barfield; Willette Hinton & Family; Tony Williamson.

The 2008 festival is grateful to 80+ sponsors for their support in making MerleFest possible. Those sponsors include; Lowe’s, Tyson, Brushy Mountain Smokehouse, Burger King, G & B Energy, Hardee’s, MVY Radio, Pepsi, WXII TV, Winston-Salem Journal, Carolina West, D’Addario, GHS, Gibson, Taylor Guitar, John Pearce Strings, Embarq, Charter Communications, SE Systems, Sugar Hill, and many other fine companies. A complete listing of all MerleFest sponsors and additional information about all aspects of the festival can be found at www.merlefest.org.

In addition to music from over a dozen stages MerleFest offers heritage crafts from regional artisans, a safe and family friendly atmosphere, children’s activities, plenty of pickin’ opportunities, and more! MerleFest, presented by Lowe’s, will be held on the campus of Wilkes Community College April 24-27, 2008. For more information, to buy tickets, or to sign up as a festival volunteer visit www.merlefest.org or call 1-800-343-7857.

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MerleFest 2006 Sets Records for Participation and Economic Impact

Wilkesboro (North Carolina), USA – Magical moments greeted record crowds at MerleFest 2006, the 19th annual festival in celebration of the music of the late Merle Watson and his father Doc Watson. Wilkes Community College presented the event on April 27 30 on its campus in Wilkesboro, NC.

MerleFest again drew an enormous, well behaved, and appreciative audience with a preliminary estimated total participation including volunteers and school children of 82,618, according to Managing Director Ted Hagaman. This surpasses last year’s 80,104. Paid attendance increased by 14% more than 2005 to 44,031 partially reflecting a change in formula to reflect attendance more accurately.

Without that adjustment, paid participation would have still jumped by 5%. Wilkes Community College will present MerleFest 2007 on April 26 29, 2007.

A preliminary estimate calculates that the regional economic impact of MerleFest 2006 will reach a new record of $16,374,948. MerleFest 2005 had an estimated impact of $14,554,991, three years after 2002’s former record of $15,045,673. Proceeds from MerleFest have permitted Wilkes Community College to make numerous capital improvements, including the Eddy Merle Watson Memorial Garden for the Senses, the Doc & Merle Watson Theatre, fiber-optic wiring for the campus, and the endowment of scholarships for its students.

MerleFest has pledged $1,220,000 to the Next Step Campaign, the first phase of which includes the Science & Technology Building scheduled to open this fall. Over its first 18 years, MerleFest contributed $5.7 million to Wilkes Community College.

MerleFest 2006 offered food, crafts, family and children’s’ activities, and performances by nearly 90 Americana music acts, including Doc Watson and Merle’s son Richard; the Avett Brothers; Rory Block; David Bromberg Quartet; Alison Brown Quartet; Sam Bush Band; Guy Clark; John Cowan Band; Jerry Douglas Band; Béla Fleck & The Flecktones; Eliza Gilkyson; Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion;
Emmylou Harris; Hot Tuna; Robert Earl Keen; The Lee Boys; Laura Love Band; Nickel Creek; John Prine; Tony Rice Unit; Peter Rowan; Darrell Scott; Mike Seeger; Pete Seeger; Larry Sparks & The Lonesome Ramblers; Gillian Welch; and The Waybacks featuring special guest Bob Weir of the Dead. For the first time, many live sets from MerleFest 2006 will be available, some as early as Wednesday
May 3, for sale as downloads from  www.festivalink.net.

Sarah Lee Guthrie, Jason Harrod, Dave Wilson, and Holly Lowman judged the finals of the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest, which attracted a record 1172 entries, 18 more than 2005. First round judging from submitted recordings produced twelve finalists who competed with the following results. General Category: 1st: “Short Time Here” by Scott Pearce, Winterville, NC; 2nd: “Under
My Skin” by Maura Fogarty, Bronx, NY; and 3rd: “Rather Have Sooner” by Billy Deiz, Portland, OR; Bluegrass Category: 1st: “Rita Mae” by Connie Leigh, Newport, AR; 2nd: “Guns, Coins, Jewelry & 2nd Hand Hearts” by Timmy Massey and Rick Pardue, State Road, NC; and 3rd: “That’s As Close to Lonesome” by Jimmy Moore, Marlboro, NJ;. Country Category: 1st: “Losing Faith” by Audrey Auld Mezera, Stinson Beach, CA; 2nd: “Light at the End of the Bottle” by Megan Laurie, Lubbock, TX; and 3rd: “12 Gauge Education” by Wake Eastman, Polk Shelton, Jay Cook, and Jill Gilliam, Hamptonville, NC. Gospel Category: 1st: “Hallelujah Time” by John Milroy and C.J. Milroy, Ferndale, MI; 2nd: “Truth
Cries Out” by Mary James with Dan Barker, Lakeside, CA and 3rd “A Little Deeper” by Paul Kelly with Salvador Guida, Jr., Santa Fe, NM.

Brandon Davis from Independence, VA, runner the past three consecutive years, won first place in the Doc Watson Guitar Championship. Tony Watt from Nashville, TN took second with John Creech of Fayetteville, NC finishing third. Jody Hughes, Marietta, GA, captured the Merle Watson Bluegrass Banjo Championship. Eric Hardin of Warrensville, NC took second, with Bryson City, NC’s Seth Taylor third. Rebecca Lovell of Calhoun, GA, third place in 2005, won the MerleFest Mandolin Contest, followed by 2005 runner-up Dominick Leslie, Evergreen, CO, and Nick Keen of East Bend, NC in third.

From May 2, 2005 through April 18, 2006, the MerleFest web site received more than 20,600,000 hits from an average of 1569 unique users per day. More than a week before its April 27 start, MerleFest 2006 had received ticket orders from 48 states and 12 foreign countries. Since July 1, 2005, MerleFest 2006 had received 170,455,782 impressions in more than 900 published articles. The previous MerleFest record for an entire year was 100,844,019.

One hundred eight radio stations in 18 states and Canada participated in MerleFest 2006 promotions. Including media sponsorships with that total, MerleFest 2006 bartered for $222,000 worth of radio airtime, magazine, website, newspaper, TV and cable TV advertising. Mvyradio.com and Wilkes Community College station WSIF-FM 90.9 will broadcast live from MerleFest. For the first time, www.festivalink.net will be offering sales of live downloads and CDs from MerleFest 2006.

Major MerleFest 2006 sponsors include BluegrassCountry.org; Burger King; C&J LP Gas Company/G&B Energy; Cedar Creek Custom Case Shoppe/TKL; Charter Communications; Chetola Resort at Blowing Rock; Collings Guitars; Curtis Media; Deering Banjo Company; First Quality Musical Supplies; GHS Strings; Gibson Musical Instruments; Hardees/Dermox; Homespun Tapes Ltd.; iBluegrass & The Acoustic Network; J D’Addario & Co; John Pearse Strings; Knee Deep in Bluegrass; Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouses; mvyradio.com; Pepsi Bottling Ventures LLC; Sprint; Stelling Banjo Works; Sugar Hill Records; Taylor Guitars; Tyson Foods, Inc.; WBRF-FM 98.1; Western Beat Entertainment; WFMX 105.7 FM; Winston-Salem Journal; WNCW Public Radio; WUNC 91.5 FM; and WXII-TV 12. Total Sponsorship support reached a record $475,718, including $180,120 in cash.

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MerleFest Announces 2006 Chris Austin Songwriting Contest Finalists

Wilkesboro (North Carolina), USA – The Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at MerleFest 2006, presented in Wilkesboro by Wilkes Community College, has announced the finalists for the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest, according to Art Menius, MerleFest Marketing Director. A panel of Nashville music industry professionals, assembled by Chris Austin Songwriting Contest chairperson Jim Lauderdale, evaluated a record 1172 entries to pick the dozen finalists. The Finals will take place at MerleFest 2006 on Friday, April 28, from 2:00 until 3:30 PM Eastern on the
Austin Stage.

The finalists are:

General Category Finalists: “Under My Skin” by Maura Fogarty, Bronx, NY; “Rather Have Sooner” by Billy Deiz, Portland, OR; “Short Time Here” by Scott Pearce, Winterville, NC

Bluegrass Category Finalists: “That’s As Close to Lonesome” by Jimmy Moore, Marlboro, NJ; “Guns, Coins, Jewelry & 2nd Hand Hearts” by Timmy Massey and Rick Pardue, State Road, NC; “Rita Mae” by Connie Leigh, Newport, AR

Country Category Finalists: “Light at the End of the Bottle” by Megan Laurie, Lubbock, TX; “Losing Faith” by Audrey Auld Mezera, Stinson Beach, CA; “12 Gauge Education” by Wake Eastman, Polk Shelton, Jay Cook, and Jill Gilliam, Hamptonville, NC

Gospel Category Finalists: “Hallelujah Time” by John Milroy and C.J. Milroy, Ferndale, MI; “A Little Deeper” by Paul Kelly with Salvador Guida, Jr., Santa Fe, NM; “Truth Cries Out” by Mary James with Dan Barker, Lakeside, CA.

Contest chairperson Jim Lauderdale, Sarah Lee Guthrie, Jason Harrod, Dave Wilson, and Holly Lowman are scheduled to judge the finals. Each first place winner earns an appearance on the Cabin Stage Friday evening, an Epiphone Guitar from Gibson®, a check for $300, and two boxes of D’Addario strings.

Second place winners receive a check for $250 and one box of D’Addario strings.

Third place winners receive one box of D’Addario strings and a check for $50.

Each finalist also receives admission for three to MerleFest with motel accommodations, sponsored by Fishman Transducers, and one-year subscription to Acoustic Guitar magazines. Thomas Fisher, First Vice-President at Morgan Keegan, Durham, NC sponsored the cash prizes. Additional sponsorship provided by SonicBids, the exclusive on-line entry point for the Chris Austin Songwriting
Contest.

Steve Fishell, Caroline Herring, Hayes Carll, and Darrell Scott judged the finals of the 2005 Chris Austin Songwriting Contest, which attracted a then record 1154 entries, 250 more than 2004. The winners were. General Category: 1st: “Living in the Good Ol’ Days” by Zane Williams; Bluegrass Category: 1st: “T.V.A.” by Sam Quinn, Johnson City, TN; Country Category: 1st: “Hurry Home” by Zane
Williams, Nashville, TN; Gospel Category: 1st: “That First Stone” by Mike Finders, Iowa City, IA.

Net Proceeds from the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest go towards college projects, including scholarships and the original construction of and improvements at the Chris Austin Stage. ASCAP and No Depression magazine sponsor The Chris Austin Stage.

The deadline to enter the next Chris Austin Songwriting Contest will be March 4, 2007. For entry information, please visit www.merlefest.org, call 1-800-799-3838 or go to www.sonicbids.com/chrisaustinsongcontest.

The Songwriter Showcase Coffeehouse, sponsored by AccuCopy, became a very happening scene when it moved to The Lounge in the Student Center in 1998. There the Coffeehouse consistently draws a standing room only audience. The Coffeehouse returns on Friday evening, 8:00 PM to Midnight. Jerry Castor serves as coordinator and emcee.

Songwriters may register between 6:45 and 7:15 PM to
participate. At 7:15 a drawing will take place from among all registrants for performance times. Those selected will be placed in twenty – minute slots with two other songwriters. Those pulled from the hat will get four minutes each to perform an original song. Ten alternates will also be drawn and worked in as is possible. Registrants slots will alternate with fifteen minute sets by the
stars: Caitlin Cary and Thad Cockrell (8:20-8:35), Dave Wilson (8:55-9:10), Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion (9:30-9:45), Darrell Scott (10:05-10:20), Mary Lucey (10:40-10:55), Slaid Cleaves (11:15-11:30), and Chip Taylor and Carrie Rodriguez (11:50-12:05). All of these times and performers are subject to change.

Wilkes Community College will present MerleFest 2006 on April 27 30, 2006 on its campus in Wilkesboro, NC. Among those previously announced as joining Doc Watson and Merle’s son Richard Watson for MerleFest 2006 are Rory Block; David Bromberg Quartet; Alison Brown Quartet; Sam Bush Band; Guy Clark; John Cowan Band; Jerry Douglas Band; Béla Fleck & The Flecktones; Emmylou Harris; Hot Tuna; Robert Earl Keen; The Lee Boys; Laura Love Band; Nickel Creek; John Prine; Tony Rice Unit; Peter Rowan; Darrell Scott; Mike Seeger; Pete Seeger; Larry Sparks & The Lonesome Ramblers; Gillian Welch; and The Waybacks featuring special guest Bob
Weir.

MerleFest will also welcome the Woody Guthrie tribute Ribbon of Highway Endless Skyway, along with individual performances by tour members Slaid Cleaves, Eliza Gilkyson, Jimmy LaFave, and Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion.

Wilkes Community College has presented MerleFest since 1988. All bookings are subject to change without notice due to circumstances beyond the festival’s control. Those with Internet access may acquire their tickets easily by visiting www.merlefest.org. Those without Internet access may purchase tickets by calling 1-800-343-7857 (US only) or 336-838-6267 (non-US) from 10 AM through 4 PM, EST, weekdays. Tickets may also be ordered by fax (336-838-6263) and mail (MerleFest; P.O. Box 120; Wilkesboro, NC 28697). Four-day, three-day, and single day general admission tickets will be available at the festival.

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MerleFest 2006 Starts Thursday, April 27

merlefest_large-250Wilkesboro (North Carolina), USA – Wilkes Community College will
present MerleFest 2006, the 19th annual festival in celebration of the music of the late Merle Watson and his father Doc Watson, on its campus in Wilkesboro, NC on April 27 – 30, 2006.

Among those previously announced as joining Doc Watson and Merle’s son Richard Watson for MerleFest 2006 are Rory Block; David Bromberg Quartet; Alison Brown Quartet; Sam Bush Band; Guy Clark; John Cowan Band; Jerry Douglas Band; Béla Fleck & The Flecktones; Emmylou Harris; Hot Tuna; Robert Earl Keen; The Lee Boys; Laura Love Band; Nickel Creek; John Prine; Tony Rice Unit; Peter Rowan; Darrell Scott; Mike Seeger; Pete Seeger; Larry Sparks & The Lonesome Ramblers; Gillian Welch; and The Waybacks featuring special guest Bob Weir of the Dead.

MerleFest will also welcome the Woody Guthrie tribute Ribbon of Highway Endless Skyway, along with individual performances by tour members Slaid Cleaves, Eliza Gilkyson, Jimmy LaFave, and Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion.

For a complete list of MerleFest 2006 performers, visitwww.merlefest.org.

General admission tickets will be available at the gate, starting at 2:30 PM on Thursday and 8:00 AM Friday through Sunday. General admission tickets for all four days are $145, while Friday through Sunday wristbands cost $125. Individual day rates are $35 for Thursday, $45 Friday, $50 Saturday, and $40 on Sunday.

Overall festival participation, including ticketed participants, artists, school groups, volunteers, children admitted free and community outreach, totaled 80,104 for MerleFest 2005. Using guidelines recommended by the College of Business at Appalachian State University, MerleFest 2005 had an estimated total regional impact of $14,373,818.25. Over its first 18 years, MerleFest has
contributed $5.7 million to Wilkes Community College.

More than a week before its April 27 start, MerleFest 2006 had received ticket orders from 48 states and 12 foreign countries. Since July 1, 2005, MerleFest 2006 had received 170,455,782 impressions in more than 900 published articles. The previous MerleFest record for an entire year was 100,844,019. One hundred eight radio stations in 18 states and Canada participated in MerleFest 2006 promotions. Including media sponsorships with that total, MerleFest 2006 bartered for $222,000 worth of radio airtime, magazine, website, newspaper, TV and cable TV advertising. Mvyradio.com and Wilkes Community College station WSIF-FM 90.9 will broadcast live from MerleFest.

For the first time, www.festivalink.net will be offering sales of live downloads and CDs from MerleFest 2006.

Major MerleFest 2006 sponsors include BluegrassCountry.org; Burger King; C&J LP Gas Company/G&B Energy; Cedar Creek Custom Case Shoppe/TKL; Charter Communications; Chetola Resort at Blowing Rock; Collings Guitars; Curtis Media; Deering Banjo Company; First Quality Musical Supplies; GHS Strings; Gibson Musical Instruments; Hardees/Dermox; Homespun Tapes Ltd.; iBluegrass & The Acoustic Network; J D’Addario & Co; John Pearse Strings; Knee Deep in Bluegrass; Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouses; mvyradio.com; Pepsi Bottling Ventures LLC; Sprint; Stelling Banjo Works; Sugar Hill Records; Taylor Guitars; Tyson Foods, Inc.; WBRF-FM 98.1; Western Beat Entertainment; WFMX 105.7 FM; Winston-Salem Journal; WNCW Public Radio; WUNC 91.5 FM; and WXII-TV 12.

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Outreach Takes MerleFest to Local Schools

merlefest_large-250Wilkesboro (North Carolina), USA – MerleFest 2006, the 19th annual festival in celebration of the music of the late Merle Watson and his father Doc Watson, will once again share its performers with some 12,000 members of the local community through the Outreach program. Sponsored by Sprint, Outreach will facilitate performances by MerleFest artists on April 27-28 at 32 different locations.

Artists will appear in all twenty-one Wilkes County K-12 schools, Ashe County High School, Alexander Central High School, Wilkes Development Day School, Montessori Learning School, the Wilkesboro Methodist Church After-School Program, Camp E-Ma-Etu, and several nursing and assisted living facilities.

The Outreach performances, designed to expose students and seniors to different kinds of Americana music live, are not open to the general public.

Some of the artists scheduled to participate in the Outreach Program include Richard Watson & Charles Welch, the Alison Brown Quartet with Joe Craven, John Cowan Band, Feufollet, David Holt & the Lightning Bolts, Jim Lauderdale & his Bluegrass Band, Chatham County Line, Laura Love Band, the Wilders, the Avett Brothers, the Biscuit Burners, and Darrell Scott. Repeat artists are rotated to different venues than prior years. Every effort is made to match performances to the ages of the audiences. More than 3000 Wilkes County school students also attend MerleFest as part of organized school groups admitted without charge each year on Friday.

Wilkes Community College will present MerleFest 2006 on April 27-30, 2006 on its campus in Wilkesboro, NC. Among those previously announced as joining Doc Watson and Merle’s son Richard Watson for MerleFest 2006 are Rory Block; David Bromberg Quartet; Alison Brown Quartet; Sam Bush Band; Guy Clark; John Cowan Band; Jerry Douglas Band; Béla Fleck & The Flecktones; Emmylou Harris; Hot Tuna; Robert Earl Keen; The Lee Boys; Laura Love Band; Nickel Creek; John Prine; Tony Rice Unit; Peter Rowan; Darrell Scott; Mike Seeger; Pete Seeger; Larry Sparks & The Lonesome Ramblers; Gillian Welch; and The Waybacks featuring special guest Bob Weir.

MerleFest will also welcome the Woody Guthrie tribute Ribbon of Highway Endless Skyway, along with individual performances by tour members Slaid Cleaves, Eliza Gilkyson, Jimmy LaFave, and Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion. Wilkes Community College has presented MerleFest since 1988. All bookings are subject to change without notice due to circumstances beyond the festival’s control.

Those with Internet access may acquire their tickets easily by visiting www.merlefest.org.

Those without Internet access may purchase tickets by calling 1-800-343-7857 (US only) or 336-838-6267 (non-US) from 10 AM through 4 PM, EST, weekdays. Tickets may also be ordered by fax (336-838-6263) and mail (MerleFest; P.O. Box 120; Wilkesboro, NC 28697). Advance sales will end at 8 AM on Monday, April 24. Four-day, three-day, and single day general admission tickets will be available at the festival box office, sponsored by Lowe & Son Land Company.

Major MerleFest 2006 sponsors include BluegrassCountry.org; Burger King; C&J LP Gas Company/G&B Energy; Cedar Creek Custom Case Shoppe/TKL; Charter Communications; Chetola Resort at Blowing Rock; Collings Guitars; Curtis Media; Deering Banjo Company; First Quality Musical Supplies; GHS Strings; Gibson Musical Instruments; Hardees/Dermox; Homespun Tapes Ltd.; iBluegrass & The Acoustic Network; J D’Addario & Co; John Pearse Strings; Knee Deep in Bluegrass; Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouses; mvyradio.com; Pepsi Bottling Ventures LLC; Sprint; Stelling Banjo Works; Sugar Hill Records; Taylor Guitars; Tyson Foods, Inc.; WBRF Radio; Western Beat Entertainment; WFMX 105.7 FM; Winston-Salem Journal; WNCW Public Radio; WUNC 91.5 FM; and WXII-TV 12.

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