Nov 162018
 

DelFest
Old Settler’s Music Festival
The John Hartford Music Festival
Merlefest

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.
The full initial lineup includes the following:
We are thrilled to announce our initial 2019 lineup! Wynonna and The Big Noise, Tyler ChildersKeb’ Mo’Jerry DouglasEarls of LeicesterSam BushPeter Rowan and The Free Mexican Airforce, Jim LauderdaleScythianKruger BrothersGibson Brothers MusicThe Black LilliesRadney FosterJunior SiskChatham County LineDonna the BuffaloMark O’ConnorThe WaybacksYarn, T. Michael Coleman, Jim AvettJunior Brown Fan PageElephant SessionsCane Mill RoadSalt and LightThe Trailblazers, Wayne Henderson, Presley BarkerLaura BoosingerJeff Little/Jeff Little Trio, Jack Lawrence, Mark Bumgarner, Mitch Greenhill, String MadnessPete WernickThe Harris Brothers, Tony Williamson, The InterACTive Theater of Jef, Driftwood, Roy Book Binder, Joe Smothers, Jess Morgan, Jontavious Willis and Andrew Alli, Happy TraumIrish Wren MythenDavid LaMotteAmerican Aquarium, Bob Hill, Ana Egge and the Sentimentals, Andy May, Banknotes, Carol Rifkin, Charles Welch, Elizabeth CookGordie MacKeeman and His Rhythm Boys, Larry Stephenson Band, Lindi Ortega, B Townes, Professor Whizzpop, Nixon, Blevins and gage, Mile Twelve, Si Kahn, Steve PoltzTodd Albright, Tom Feldman, Valerie Smith and Liberty Pike, The Local Boys, Shane HennessyMaybe April, Ellis Dyson & The Shambles, Dirk Powell Band, Carolina Blue, AZTEC SUN, Ken Crouse, Catfish Keith, Michaela Anne, Webb Wilder and our very own Flattop!
Additional performers for MerleFest 2019 will be announced in the coming months. The lineup and performance schedule is accessible viaMerleFest.org/lineup.

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 Studios will 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.

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