Dec 072021
 

Oh, they are now pouring in folks! I am BACK and better than ever now! And now, it is my time of the year where I decide my TOP 50 albums, but also this is where my biggest endeavor begins….next year’s festival lineups of over 275 festivals!

True, I only get to pick 4 or 5 to cover for the next year, because it’s a lot of work doing a festival coverage job. There are so many of them spanned across so far of the United States, you cannot go to them all in one year.

Now, just like every year that I do these different festival articles, each one is going to have their own separate articles of information including maps and directions on how and where to go if you choose to try new ones next year. You can rest assured that I’ll be researching and keeping you informed on all of the different ones that are announcing their lineups and dates in 2022!

May be an image of text that says "GREENSKY BLUEGRASS EMMYLOU HARRIS RISSI PALMER SAM BUSH JERRY DOUGLAS THE EARLS OF LEICESTER PETER ROWAN JIM LAUDERDALE DONNA THE BUFFALO SCYTHIAN KRUGER BROTHERS THE WAYBACKS BARKER T.MICHAEL COLEMAN 06X MerleFest MEMORIES HUENTS Presented Window April 28-May 1, 2022 Plus Many More Performers"
MerleFest, presented by Window World, is proud to announce the first round of artists for MerleFest 2022, which will be held April 28-May 1, 2022. Emmylou Harris, Greensky Bluegrass, Rissi Palmer, and more will be joining the annual homecoming of musicians and music fans on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. 2022 marks MerleFest’s return to its traditional Spring weekend after being postponed to September in 2021. Check out Rolling Stone’s recap of the 2021 festival here.  “We are very excited to welcome music fans back to the campus of Wilkes Community College in the Spring,” says MerleFest’s new Festival Director, Wes Whitson. “Endless gratitude to all artists, staff, volunteers, vendors, and fans for their patience and support for the 2021 festival.  Our team has put together another great lineup for 2022 and we’re looking forward to sharing 4 days of the very best in traditional+ music with fans.” MerleFest 2022 will be Greensky Bluegrass’s first time on the bill and Emmylou Harris’s 12th appearance—highlighting the importance MerleFest places on both discovery and community within its lineups.
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A 14-time Grammy winner and Billboard Century Award recipient, Emmylou Harris’ contribution as a singer and songwriter spans 40 years. She has recorded more than 25 albums and has contributed her talents to countless fellow artists’ recordings. In recognition of her remarkable career, Harris was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2008 and earned a Grammy Lifetime Achievement award in 2018. Harris is known as much for her eloquently straightforward songwriting as for her incomparably expressive singing. Admired through her career for her talent as an artist and song connoisseur, Harris shook up country radio in the 1970s and established herself as the premiere songwriter of a generation selling more than 15 million records and garnering 14 Grammy Awards, three CMA Awards, and four Americana Awards. Harris is one of the most admired and influential women in music. She has recorded with such diverse artists as Linda Ronstadt, Daniel Lanois, Bob Dylan, Mark Knopfler, Neil Young, Gram Parsons, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Roy Orbison, Ryan Adams, Beck, Elvis Costello, Johnny Cash, Lucinda Williams, Lyle Lovett, and Rodney Crowell. Few artists have achieved such honesty or have revealed such maturity in their writing. Forty years into her career, Harris continues to share the hard-earned wisdom that—hopefully, if not inevitably—comes with getting older, though she’s never stopped looking ahead. A longtime social activist, Harris has bestowed her voice to many causes. Most passionately to animal welfare. She established Bonaparte’s Retreat with the goal of rescuing shelter dogs and adopting them into forever homes in Metro Nashville and surrounding counties. Emmylou Harris will perform on Sunday.
Since their 2000 formation in Kalamazoo, MI, the Greensky Bluegrass quintet—Anders Beck [dobro], Michael Arlen
Bont [banjo], Dave Bruzza [guitar], Mike Devol [upright bass], and Paul Hoffman [mandolin]—have unassumingly progressed into a phenomenon on their own terms with the undying support of a devout audience. Rolling back and forth across North America on successive tours, they recently sold out 3 nights at Red Rocks, a feat unheard of in their genre. In 2019, All For Money marked their second #1 debut on the Billboard Top Bluegrass Albums Chart and third straight Top 3 entry. They’ve also earned critical acclaim from Billboard, Parade, NPR, and Rolling Stone who hailed them as “representing the genre for a whole new generation.” As always, the band embraces tradition, ushering bluegrass forward on their eighth full-length offering, Stress Dreams. “Greensky is and always has been very unique in our world,” observes Paul. “We put our love, energy, and focus into what we appreciate about our music. We come together as a band in a way that’s organic. We take a lot of pride in how we grow and challenge each other too. We’re maturing together. I think we get more Greensky all of the time.” Greensky Bluegrass will perform on Friday.
In addition to those mentioned above, the following artists and bands are set to appear at MerleFest 2022: Andy May, Banknotes, Carol Rifkin, Charles Welch, Donna the Buffalo, Happy Traum, Jack Lawrence, Jeff Little Trio, Jerry Douglas, Jim Lauderdale, Joe Smothers, Kruger Brothers, Laura Boosinger, Mark Bumgarner, Mitch Greenhill, Pete & Joan Wernick, Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band, Presley Barker, Roy Book Binder, Sam Bush, Scythian, T. Michael Coleman, The InterACTive Theatre of Jef, The Local Boys, The Waybacks, Tony Williamson, and Wayne Henderson.  Additional artists will be announced in the coming weeks.
Full Lineup
MerleFest 2022 will host its second annual MerleFest Mega Raffle to support scholarships at Wilkes Community College. Tickets are on sale now. The Mega Raffle drawings will be held during the festival on Sunday, May 01, 2022, at the Raffle/Silent Auction Tent beginning at 1:00 p.m. Over $170,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded. Only 5,000 tickets will be sold, and ticket holders do not have to be present to win. Raffle tickets are $100 each and include two entries to the MerleFest Mega Raffle drawings. To purchase tickets or for more information visit www.merlefest.org/megaraffle.
Mega Raffle Info
As a volunteer, you will receive free entry to the festival for the entire day of your shift, free parking and shuttle, and 10% off camping at River’s Edge Campground. Most importantly, you will be supporting a major fundraiser for Wilkes Community College. The benefits from this festival to our students and community are too many to list! Your support is greatly appreciated. In other words…you ROCK!
Volunteer

MerleFest Announces Old Crow Medicine Show, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Steep Canyon Rangers, Allison Russell, and We Banjo 3
In addition to the previously announced headliners Emmylou Harris, Greensky Bluegrass, Rissi Palmer, and more to perform April 28 – May 1, 2022
January 10, 2022 – Wilkesboro, NC – MerleFest, presented by Window World, is proud to announce the second round of artist additions for MerleFest 2022, which will be held April 28-May 1, 2022. Old Crow Medicine Show, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Steep Canyon Rangers, Allison Russell, and We Banjo 3 will join an already impressive lineup which includes performances by Emmylou Harris, Greensky Bluegrass, Rissi Palmer, and more. MerleFest is the annual late April homecoming of musicians and music fans on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. “We are so excited to welcome music fans back to the campus of Wilkes Community College in the spring,” says MerleFest’s new Festival Director, Wes Whitson.
Additional fan favorites announced today include Darrell Scott, Alison Brown, 49 Winchester, Arlo McKinley, Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band, The Arcadian Wild, Caleb Caudle, and Dr. Bacon.
In addition to those mentioned above, the following artists and bands were previously announced in late 2021: Andy May, Banknotes, Carol Rifkin, Charles Welch, Donna the Buffalo, Happy Traum, Jack Lawrence, Jeff Little Trio, Jerry Douglas, Jim Lauderdale, Joe Smothers, Kruger Brothers, Laura Boosinger, Mark Bumgarner, Mitch Greenhill, Pete & Joan Wernick, Peter Rowan, Presley Barker, Roy Book Binder, Sam Bush, Scythian, T. Michael Coleman, The InterACTive Theatre of Jef, The Local Boys, The Waybacks, Tony Williamson, and Wayne Henderson.
About Old Crow Medicine Show (Performing Saturday): Old Crow Medicine Show started busking on street corners in 1998 New York state and up through Canada, winning audiences along the way with their boundless energy and spirit. They eventually found themselves in Boone, North Carolina where they caught the attention of folk icon Doc Watson while playing in front of a pharmacy. He invited the band to play at his festival, MerleFest, helping to launch their career. Shortly thereafter the band was hired to entertain crowds between shows at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, TN.
It’s been over twenty years since these humble beginnings. The band has gone on to receive the honor of being inducted as members of the Grand Ole Opry and have won two Grammy Awards: “Best Folk Album” for Remedy (2014) and “Best Long Form Music Video” for Big Easy Express (2013). Additionally, their classic single, “Wagon Wheel,” received the RIAA’s Double-Platinum certification in 2019 for selling over 2,000,000 copies while the band’s debut album O.C.M.S. has been certified Gold (500,000 copies). The band’s latest release Paint This Town will be released on April 22nd via ATO Records.
About Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (Performing Sunday): With a refreshed lineup and newfound energy, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band remains one of the most accomplished bands in American roots music.
Following an extended 50th anniversary tour, the ensemble grew to a six-piece in 2018 for the first time since their early jug band days. The group now includes Jeff Hanna (acoustic guitar, electric guitar), Jimmie Fadden (drums, harmonica), Bob Carpenter (keyboards), Jim Photoglo (bass, acoustic guitar), Ross Holmes (fiddle, mandolin), and Jaime Hanna (electric and acoustic guitar). All six members also sing, and when their voices merge, the harmonies add a powerful new component for the legendary band. And with the father-son pairing of Jeff and Jaime Hanna, the band carries on a country music tradition of blood harmony.
About Steep Canyon Rangers (Performing Friday): Steep Canyon Rangers are Asheville, North Carolina’s Grammy winners, perennial Billboard chart-toppers, and frequent collaborators of the renowned banjoist (and occasional comedian) Steve Martin.
Steep Canyon Rangers released three albums in 2020, all on Yep Roc Records. The Grammy-Nominated North Carolina Songbook is a recording of their live 2019 performance at MerleFest in Wilkesboro, N.C., in which they performed a selection of songs by North Carolina songwriters (Ola Belle Reed, Doc Watson, James Taylor, Ben E. King, and others). “Be Still Moses”—perhaps their most singular musical partnership to date—has the band teaming with Philadelphia soul legends Boyz II Men and their hometown Asheville Symphony to completely overhaul the Rangers’ original “Be Still Moses,” which was first recorded on their 2007 breakout album Lovin’ Pretty Women. The album includes re-imagined versions of Steep Canyon’s previously released original songs performed with an orchestra. Their most recent release of all original music, Arm in Arm came out in October.
About Allison Russell (Performing Saturday ): Allison’s new album, Outside Child—draws water from the dark well of a violent past—is her first solo offering, she also being a pivotal voice in two bands: Birds of Chicago and Our Native Daughters. And telling her own story sounds now to have made her free—not from it all, but free within it: to reframe and reclaim her identity and its singular authority.
The songs themselves—though iron-hard in their concerns—are exultant: exercising haunted dreams like clean bedsheets snapped and hung out into broad daylight, and with the romantic poet’s lust for living and audacity of endurance.
Nina Simone comes to mind, as well Edith Piaf: two shamanistic practitioners who turned their faces into the blade of the storm and roared back dignity and hope. This music, no less, is a triumph: a courageous work—burnished and bright; unspeakably beautiful as she sings the unspeakable. Above all, it is an act of remarkable generosity: a cathartic, soulful, buoyant and redeeming gift to us all and, one must believe, to herself as well.
About We Banjo 3 (Performing Friday): Debuting in the U.S. in 2012, We Banjo 3 has since emerged as fast-rising touring darlings in the country that two of the members now call home. The Galway, Ireland, and Nashville-based quartet—comprised of two sets of brothers, Enda & Fergal Scahill and Martin & David Howley—continually push musical boundaries while maintaining an unwavering devotion to the essential audience experience. WB3 seamlessly converges the shared and varied traditions of Americana, Bluegrass, and Celtic music with pop-sensible songcraft to create a truly unique and gratifying signature sound.
 Tickets for next year’s festival are on sale now and may be purchased at www.MerleFest.org or by calling 1-800-343-7857. Festival vendor and volunteer application windows are now open. Please visit merlefest.org/vendors or merlefest.org/volunteer to sign up.
MerleFest 2022 will host its second annual MerleFest Mega Raffle to support scholarships at Wilkes Community College. Tickets are on sale now. The Mega Raffle drawings will be held during the festival on Sunday, May 01, 2022, at the Raffle/Silent Auction Tent from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Over $170,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded. Only 5,000 tickets will be sold, and ticket holders do not have to be present to win. Raffle tickets are $100 each and include two entries to the MerleFest Mega Raffle drawings. To purchase tickets or for more information visit www.merlefest.org/megaraffle.
About MerleFest: MerleFest was founded in 1988 in memory of the son of the late American music legend Doc Watson, renowned guitarist Eddy Merle Watson. MerleFest is a celebration of “traditional plus” music, a unique mix of traditional, roots-oriented sounds of the Appalachian region, including old-time, classic country, bluegrass, folk and gospel, and blues, and expanded to include Americana, classic rock, and many other styles. The festival hosts a diverse mix of artists on its 13 stages during the course of the multi-day event. MerleFest is the primary fundraiser for the WCC Foundation, funding scholarships, capital projects, and other educational needs.
About Window World®: Window World®, headquartered in North Wilkesboro, N.C., is America’s largest replacement window and exterior remodeling company, with more than 200 locally-owned franchises nationwide. Founded in 1995, the company sells and installs windows, siding, doors and other exterior products, with over 20 million windows sold to date. Window World is an ENERGY STAR® partner and its windows, vinyl siding and Therma-Tru doors have all earned the Good Housekeeping Seal. Through its charitable foundation, Window World Cares®, Window World and its franchisees provide funding for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®. Since its inception in 2008, the foundation has raised over $12 million for St. Jude. Window World also supports veterans and the military through its Window World Military Initiative (WWMI). WWMI defines Window World’s commitment to honor and serve America’s veterans, active military and military families across the entire franchise system by focusing on three pillars: Careers, Community Outreach and Partnerships. The Veterans Airlift Command has been a partner since 2008. During that time, Window World has contributed over $2.5 million in flights and donations to the organization. For more information, visit WindowWorld.com or call 1-800 NEXTWINDOW. For home improvement and energy efficiency tips, décor ideas and more, follow Window World on Facebook and Twitter.

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