Merlefest is one of my favorite festivals to provide information for, although I have never
covered this festival in person. However THIS YEAR I plan to fix that statement as I HAVE applied for a press pass to bring this action to your home!
In my usual true journalistic style I SHALL ATTEMPT to bring all the action to your doorstep here from North Carolina this spring.
MerleFest, presented by Window World, is proud to announce the initial lineup for MerleFest 2019, which will be held April 25-28. 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. The complete lineup for MerleFest 2019 will be announced over the next few months.
The 2019 Late Night Jam on Saturday, April 27th will start at 10:30 p.m. and run well past midnight, with host Chatham County Line. This very popular after-hours hootenanny in the Walker Center gathers many performers from the festival for impromptu artistic collaborations and one-of-a-kind superstar jams that have become legendary in the festival’s history.
Ticket sales for both the festival and Late Night Jam are on sale now.
Wynonna & The Big Noise: Respected by the millions of fans who are drawn to her music and undeniable talent, Wynonna’s rich and commanding voice has sold over 30-million albums worldwide spanning her remarkable 35-year career. As one-half of the legendary mother/daughter duo “The Judds,” Wynonna was once dubbed by Rolling Stone as “the greatest female country singer since Patsy Cline.” This iconic performer has received over 60 industry awards, with countless charting singles, including 20 No.1 hits such as “Mama He’s Crazy,” “Why Not me,” and “Grandpa, (Tell Me ‘Bout The Good Ole Days).”
Keb’ Mo’: Over the past two decades, award-winning singer, songwriter, guitarist and contemporary blues artist, Keb’ Mo’, has cultivated a reputation as a modern master of American roots music through the understated excellence of his live and studio performances. His most recent studio project TajMo, a collaboration with the legendary Taj Mahal, won the 2018 GRAMMY for “Best Contemporary Blues Album.” Additionally, at the 39th Annual Blues Music Awards, TajMo earned Album of the Year and Contemporary Blues Album of the Year, and Keb’ Mo’ also took home the title of Contemporary Blues Male Artist of The Year.
The Earls of Leicester: When The Earls of Leicester formed in 2013, their mission was ambitious but exact: to preserve and promote the legacy of bluegrass legends Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, in hopes of reviving the duo’s music for long time admirers and introducing a new generation to their genre-defining sound. Within a year of releasing their self-titled debut, the Nashville-based six-piece far surpassed their own expectations, winning a Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album and earning six awards from the International Bluegrass Music Association. Now, with their first live album, The Earls of Leicester offer up a selection of songs that fully capture the pure joy and supreme musicianship that propel their every performance.
Sam Bush: From teen fiddle champion to groundbreaking mandolinist, there is only one Sam Bush. The son of Kentucky reared on Bill Monroe’s bluegrass came of age in the counterculture cyclone of the late ‘60s. In the genre’s outsiders like the Osborne Brothers and The Dillards, Bush heard the future, and by the dawn of the 1970s was leading his own New Grass Revival, driven by the power of rock-and-roll and the freedom of improvisational jazz. Bush and his hippie co-conspirators changed the bluegrass landscape, touring with Leon Russell, winning fans at festivals across the country, and recording Grammy-winning songs. At the group’s peak, after taking aim at the top of the Country charts, Bush walked away.
Tyler Childers: Like many great Southern storytellers, singer-songwriter Tyler Childers has fallen in love with a place. The people, landmarks and legendary moments from his childhood home of Lawrence County, Kentucky, populate the 10 songs in his formidable debut,Purgatory, an album that’s simultaneously modern and as ancient as the Appalachian Mountains in which events unfold. The album, co-produced by Grammy Award winners Sturgill Simpson and David Ferguson, is a semi-autobiographical sketch of Childers’ growth from wayward youth to happily married man, told in the tradition of a Southern gothic novel with a classic noir anti-hero who may just be irredeemable.
Peter Rowan and The Free Mexican Air Force: Grammy-award winner Peter Rowan is a singer-songwriter with a career spanning over five decades. From his early years playing under the tutelage of Bluegrass veteran Bill Monroe, to his time in Old & In the Way and his breakout as a solo musician and bandleader, Rowan has built a devoted, international fan base through a solid stream of recordings, collaborative projects, and constant touring. The late ‘60s and early 70’s saw Rowan involved in a number of rock, folk and bluegrass projects, including Earth Opera, Sea Train, Muleskinner, and the Rowans, where he played alongside brothers Chris and Lorin Rowan.
“MerleFest is proud to announce more than 75 artists who are part of the festival’s 2019 lineup, commemorating the 32nd year of the festival. MerleFest continues its tradition of honoring the tried and true performers that our MerleFest fans have come to know and love like Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Jim Lauderdale, and The Kruger Brothers and adding to them some of the top traditional plus acts performing today like Tyler Childers, Wynonna & The Big Noise, Keb’ Mo’. The initial lineup reflects the musical diversity and quality of performers who are the hallmark of the festival,” says Lindsay Craven, MerleFest Artist Relations Manager.
Additional performers for MerleFest 2019 will be announced in the coming months. The lineup and performance schedule is accessible viaMerleFest.org/lineup.
MerleFest Adds Brandi Carlile, Dailey & Vincent, and The Brother Brothers to 2019 Lineup
Tickets on Sale Now
WILKESBORO, N.C. (Dec. 10, 2018) – MerleFest, presented by Window World, is proud to announce new artist additions for MerleFest 2019: Brandi Carlile, Dailey & Vincent, and The Brother Brothers. 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.
Brandi Carlile: GRAMMY-nominated Brandi Carlile is currently celebrating her breakthrough new album, By The Way, I Forgive You, which debuted earlier this year at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Current Albums chart, Rock Albums chart and Americana/Folk Albums chart and Number 5 on the Billboard 200 chart—a career high for the Seattle-based group. Produced by Dave Cobb and Shooter Jennings, the album continues to receive overwhelming acclaim, including recent “Best Albums of 2018” coverage at Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, Billboard, NPR Music and more.
Most recently, Carlile joined forces with Sam Smith on a new duet version of “Party Of One.” Recorded at L.A.’s Capitol Studios, a portion of the profits from this recording will be donated to Children in Conflict via Brandi Carlile’s Looking Out Foundation as part of its ongoing campaign to raise $1 million for children impacted by war.
Beloved by fans and critics alike, Carlile has performed sold-out concerts across the world and has appeared on various TV shows including The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Tonight Show, The Today Show, Conan and CBS This Morning. Carlile will perform on Saturday evening at MerleFest.
Dailey & Vincent: Grand Ole Opry Members, Five-time GRAMMY award winners individually, three-time GRAMMY award nominees collectively, four-time DOVE Award winners, and winners of 35 IBMA Awards altogether (including 3-time IBMA Entertainer of the Year Award winners and 3-Time Vocal Group of the Year Award winners), Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent, backed by one of the best bands on tour today, are some of the most reputable and elite entertainers in American music; bluegrass, traditional country and gospel music. Now on Season 3 of their nationally broadcast television series, “The Dailey & Vincent Show on RFD-TV,” Dailey & Vincent bring their music to a national audience on a weekly basis. After a decade spent performing together and with over 1,000 airings of their PBS special “Dailey & Vincent ALIVE – In Concert,” their concoction of fantastically instinctive vocal blends of Dailey’s tenor and Vincent’s reedy harmonies has gained them well-deserved praise for their own distinctive style and worldwide recognition as American Music gold. Their most recent live CD, Dailey & Vincent ALIVE, debuted at #1 on the Billboard Bluegrass charts and remained at the top position for over 15 weeks.Dailey & Vincent will appear on Thursday at MerleFest.
The Brother Brothers: The Brother Brothers are Adam and David Moss, identical twins carrying on the folk tradition for a new generation. Using minimal instrumentation, heartfelt lyricism, and harmonies so natural they seem to blend into one beautiful voice, the siblings draw on the energy and creativity of Brooklyn, New York for their full-length debut album, Some People I Know. The Brother Brothers will make their MerleFest debut on Saturday.
“For over 30 years, one of the major factors that has built and sustained MerleFest has been the quality of the artists and performances that our guests see over the 4 day festival,” says Ted Hagaman, Festival Director. “People truly feel that the festival is a great value and that is why music fans and families return year after year. We feel that the 2019 lineup again reflects the diversity and quality of performers and we look forward to another successful festival in April.” The three artists announced today join over 75 artistsannounced last month via Rolling Stone Country. Headliners include Wynonna & The Big Noise, Keb’ Mo’, The Earls of Leicester, Sam Bush, Tyler Childers, and Peter Rowan and The Free Mexican Air Force. The Late Night Jam presented by The Bluegrass Situation will be hosted by Chatham County Line. In addition to the above mentioned artists, the following will be performing at MerleFest ‘19:
CASC EARLY ENTRY DISCOUNT DEADLINE APPROACHING, EXPANDED PRIZE PACKAGES
Now in its 27th 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.
All entries received from now until NOVEMBER 30 will receive an early entry discount price of $25 per entry, while submissions received in December and January will require a $30 fee per entry. All lyrics must be written in English and no instrumental entries will be accepted. The final deadline to enter is February 1, 2019.
Aspiring songwriters may submit entries to the contest using the online entry form or by mailing entries to MerleFest/CASC, P.O. Box 120, Wilkesboro, NC, 28697.
Finalists will be invited to the final round of the competition, which takes place Friday, April 26, during MerleFest. First place winners will receive $600 cash from MerleFest, a performance slot on MerleFest’s Cabin Stage on Friday night, and a 20-30 minute set on Saturday morning or afternoon.
New for this year, Saloon Studioswill provide recording sessions for the four 1st place CASC winners…
Saloon Studios will invite the CASC winners to join Saloon Studios for a live performance at one of their upcoming shows
CASC winners will either be opening acts or may be paired for a Rising Stars show on Saloon Studios performance show
Saloon Studios will provide each CASC winner with the unmastered audio and video recording from that performance to use at their discretion. Saloon Studios will retain a copy of that performance and may also use it at their discretion
Saloon Studios is an intimate, close-up experience where artists perform in a 100-seat, mid-nineteenth century saloon replica with state-of-the-art sound technology.
In addition, D’Addario will host a mentoring session after the contest takes place on MerleFest Friday. MerleFest and D’Addario will LiveStream the contest via official Facebook channels.
“We are extremely proud of the career successes achieved by many CASC alumni. Among these are Gillian Welch (1993), David Via (1997, 2001), Johnny Williams (1998, 1999), Tift Merritt (2000), Becky Buller (2001), Michael Reno Harrell (2003), Adrienne Young (2003), Martha Scanlan (2003), Sam Quinn (2006) and Jeanette Williams (2007),” said Lee K. Cornett, coordinator of MerleFest’s CASC. “More recent alumni include Lara Lynn (2011) and Gary Alan Ferguson (2014). Other recent discoveries from the contest are Melody Walker of Front Country and Joseph Terrell of Mipso. I encourage all songwriters to put the final touches on your masterpiece and submit it to the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest!”
Net proceeds from the contest support the Wilkes Community College Chris Austin Memorial Scholarship. Since its inception, the scholarship has awarded over $42,500 to deserving students. For contest rules, ways to enter, and more details about the contest, visit our website.