Recent Articles
  • Merlefest 2018 lineup is announced

    Merlefest 2018 lineup is announced

    Merlefest is about to enter its 21st year. This festival began in 1988 as a fundraiser for the host Wilkes Community College. It has always been known as a festival supporting the "traditional plus" music of the Appalachians where the festival is held. Every year you can count on some big names...
  • 'Lucky Strike' by Mary Bragg: powerful Americana songwriting

    'Lucky Strike' by Mary Bragg: powerful Americana songwriting

    Mary Bragg is a singer-songwriter who recently won the songwriting contest in the country category at MerleFest. As a result, she had the opportunity to play her song fittingly titled "Lucky Strike" on the same festival whose lineup included The Avett Brothers and Zac Brown Band among others. It's...
  • Complete 2017 MerleFest set times and lineup

    Complete 2017 MerleFest set times and lineup

    On April 27-30, the small town of Wilkesboro, NC will become the place to be for fans of bluegrass, folk, and Americana music as the 30th edition of Merlefest will take place at Wilkes Community College (1328 S. Collegiate Drive, Wilkesboro). Over the festival's four days, dozens of acts will...
  • 5 must-see acts at Merlefest 2017

    5 must-see acts at Merlefest 2017

    For 30 years, the town of Wilkesboro, NC has played host to one of the nation's best roots music festivals. Merlefest was started to honor Eddy Merle Watson, son of roots music pioneer Doc Watson, and has consistently drawn some of the best country, bluegrass, and Americana artists in the world to...
  • Merlefest 2017 lineup headed by Zac Brown, Sam Bush, Del McCoury

    Merlefest 2017 lineup headed by Zac Brown, Sam Bush, Del McCoury

    One of America's premier roots music festivals, Merlefest, is celebrating its 30th year and on Nov. 17, the festival announced the first round of artists for its 2017 lineup. Heading up the 2017 edition are Zac Brown Band, Sam Bush, Del McCoury, and Jerry Douglas. Founded in memory of guitarist Eddy...
  • Left Coast band The Brothers Comatose at MerleFest

    Left Coast band The Brothers Comatose at MerleFest

    MerleFest takes its direction from its founder, Doc Watson, who referred to the music at the annual festival in honor of his late son Merle, as “traditional-plus.” This year, San Francisco band The Brothers Comatose will be representing that “plus” with a far from traditional bluegrass take on...
  • Nashville band The Barefoot Movement returns to MerleFest

    Nashville band The Barefoot Movement returns to MerleFest

    One of the emerging generation of Americana bands, The Barefoot Movement makes a return visit to MerleFest this year in advance of the release of its fourth music collection on May 13, 2016. The band, winner of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s 2014 Band of the Year Momentum Award, is...
  • Donna the Buffalo hosts Midnight Jam at MerleFest

    Donna the Buffalo hosts Midnight Jam at MerleFest

    The Saturday night Midnight Jam is one of the most highly anticipated events at MerleFest every year. This year the jam is hosted by one of the roots festival’s most popular bands, Donna the Buffalo. With a huge groove, a multi-genre approach and tons of energy, DtB, as the band is called by fans...
  • MerleFest features Belk competition winners on Saturday

    MerleFest features Belk competition winners on Saturday

    Belk, a Charlotte, North Carolina-based high-end retailer with a commanding presence in the South, will sponsor Saturday’s programming at the 2016 MerleFest, coming up April 28 - May 1. On April 30, Belk Day at the festival, one of the winners of Belk’s Southern Musician Showcase will perform on the...
  • Ten emerging acts on the MerleFest lineup

    Ten emerging acts on the MerleFest lineup

    MerleFest, the annual homecoming for roots artists coming up April 28-May 1, 2016 in Wilkesboro, NC, has an enviable record for introducing new talent during its 29 years. Artists discovered at the festival include many of today’s hottest acts, including the Avett Brothers, Tift Merritt, Gillian...
  • The Slocan Ramblers kick off Southeast tour at MerleFest

    The Slocan Ramblers kick off Southeast tour at MerleFest

    The Slocan Ramblers, a hot young bluegrass band out of Canada, will be taking their brand of roots music into the heartland of Appalachian music this spring with a tour through the Southeastern U.S. The tour kicks off at MerleFest, the country’s largest and most prestigious roots music showcase...
  • New additions to the MerleFest lineup

    New additions to the MerleFest lineup

    MerleFest 2016 is fast approaching with gates opening for the four-day roots festival homecoming on Thursday, April 28. The lineup has been finalized - except for surprise guests who’ll come to jam - and the mobile app is ready for download. To help you plan your schedule here’s a dozen or so...
  • Pinecastle Records presents Austin Songwriting Competition winners

    Pinecastle Records presents Austin Songwriting Competition winners

    Among the prizes received by the winners of MerleFest’s Chris Austin Songwriting Competition in 2015 was a contract with Pinecastle Records. The one-song contract for a compilation disc, to be promoted both to the public and to radio stations in the U.S and Canada, also included $500 toward...
  • MerleFest takes its show on the road

    MerleFest takes its show on the road

    MerleFest, the annual celebration of roots music held in Wilkesboro, NC, is reaching out to its fans with a preview tour featuring three of the groups who’ll be appearing in the 2016 festival. The On the Road tour will visit clubs in North Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee during the month of March...
  • MerleFest adds roots music legends to 2016 lineup

    MerleFest adds roots music legends to 2016 lineup

    MerleFest, the four-day roots music festival scheduled for April 28-May 1, 2016 in Wilkesboro, NC, has added several well known names to its lineup. The Old Crow Medicine Show will perform on Friday and banjo virtuoso Alison Brown is scheduled for Thursday and Saturday sets. Doug Seegers, the...
  • MerleFest 2016 announces initial lineup

    MerleFest 2016 announces initial lineup

    MerleFest, the annual roots music festival begun by the late, great Doc Watson, has released its initial lineup of talent, topped by John Prine, the Dave Rawlings Machine, the Wood Brothers, Steep Canyon Rangers, Scythian, the Kruger Brothers, Jerry Douglas, Donna the Buffalo and Becky Buller. The...
  • Jesse and Noah Bellamy

    MerleFest 2015: Photo recap, day two (photos)

    Friday saw MerleFest 2015 in full swing, with ten stages, plus the dance tent, Pickin’ Place jam tents and Little Pickers kids’ program, hosting all-day lineups. The stages are spread across the beautifully landscaped Wilkes Community College campus, keeping fans on the move to catch their favorite...
  • Logan Brill

    MerleFest 2015: Photo recap, Day one (PHOTOS)

    MerleFest 2015, the annual celebration of roots music in all its many forms, got underway on Thursday in Wilkesboro, NC. Performances, as usual on the first day of the festival, were limited to the main Watson Stage, with between-set appearances on the porch of the Cabin Stage. Placed at one side of...
  • MerleFest announces winners of annual Chris Austin Songwriting Contest

    MerleFest announces winners of annual Chris Austin Songwriting Contest

    MerleFest, the “traditional plus” music festival recently concluded in Wilkesboro, NC, hosted the 23rd edition of the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest in 2015. Winners of the four categories, recently announced, receive a one-song contract from Pinecastle Records, which will produce a four-song...
  • Remembering Doc at MerleFest: Interview with Jack Lawrence

    Remembering Doc at MerleFest: Interview with Jack Lawrence

    During his lifetime, Doc Watson seemed to be everywhere at MerleFest – appearing on every stage, sitting in with groups from far and wide, jamming with other musicians, cheering on other acts from the wings of the Watson Stage. More often than not, you’d find guitarist Jack Lawrence at his side...
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