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MerleFest Announces Initial Lineup for 30th Celebration in April 2017

Lisa Snedeker | Posted 11.17.2016 | Entertainment
Lisa Snedeker

The good folks at MerleFest, which is slated for April 27-30, 2017, have announced the initial lineup for the festival's 30th anniversary celebration ...

North Carolina's Mipso Brings Unique String Band Stylings, New Music to a Venue Near You

Lisa Snedeker | Posted 11.17.2016 | Entertainment
Lisa Snedeker

If you haven't had the chance to hear Mipso, the unique string band from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, perform live, you're in luck. You can catch th...

Watch Exclusive Premiere of Chatham County Line's Video 'All That's Left'

Lisa Snedeker | Posted 10.20.2016 | Entertainment
Lisa Snedeker

I first had the pleasure of hearing Chatham County Line play live at MerleFest a few years ago and then again in the summer of 2015 at The Steel Wheel...

Five things you don't know about Americana music icon Jim Lauderdale

Lisa Snedeker | Posted 10.06.2016 | Entertainment
Lisa Snedeker

Jim Lauderdale broke out in 2016. An overnight success? Hardly. It's taken nearly three decades and about as many albums to receive the recognition t...

Five Reasons You Won't Want to Miss 2016's Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion on Sept. 16-18

Lisa Snedeker | Posted 09.17.2016 | Entertainment
Lisa Snedeker

Take The Crooked Road to the 2016 Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion on Sept. 16-18, 2016, in Bristol, Virginia/Tennessee. This weekend's musical lineup ...

Little Hill Trio To Release First CD At Appaloosa Fest Over Labor Day Weekend, Sept. 3-4

Lisa Snedeker | Posted 08.28.2016 | Entertainment
Lisa Snedeker

Scythian fans are most likely already aware the Celtic rock band and Merlefest fan favorite is hosting its second annual Appaloosa D.C.'s Roots Music ...

MerleFest Fans Are In For A Treat When Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings Perform Under The Stars For Crossroads @ SECCA

Lisa Snedeker | Posted 08.23.2016 | Entertainment
Lisa Snedeker

The first time I heard folk, alt-country Americana singer-songwriter Gillian Welch perform live was at MerleFest in 2004 on the heels of the popularit...

Mason Via Is Headed 'Up, Up, Up' To Perform At FloydFest For The First Time

Lisa Snedeker | Posted 07.26.2016 | Entertainment
Lisa Snedeker

Mason Via is transcending musical genres with his unique brand of what has been described as Appalachian funky folk, soulful acoustic, rhythm and blue...

Will Overman Band Brings Back Southern Fried Rock With Self-Titled Debut Album Release

Lisa Snedeker | Posted 06.07.2016 | Entertainment
Lisa Snedeker

Will Overman and his band, with the exception of uber-talented drummer Chris Helms -- think Sebastian Bach in the Gilmore Girls' Hep Alien band -- weren't born until a few decades after my KTel find.

MerleFest Is 'Ground Zero' for Music, Musicians

Lisa Snedeker | Posted 05.07.2016 | Entertainment
Lisa Snedeker

It's no secret MerleFest fans have made the annual trek for the past 29 years to North Carolina's Wilkes Community College during the last weekend of April to hear their musical folk heroes perform live. What's less obvious is the musicians themselves look just as forward to the annual event honoring the music of the late, great Doc and Merle Watson because it gives them the chance to rub elbows, possibly jam or even get discovered by their own musical heroes.

MerleFest: A Family of 80,000

John Trump | Posted 05.02.2016 | Entertainment
John Trump

"MerleFest moments," they're called. Things that last forever, tucked away for safekeeping but there when you need them. A Scythian fiddle song playing in your head. Warm and bright. Humming to Jerry Douglas and his dobro. Soothing, soulful, unforgettable.

Will Overman Band Premieres First Single From Debut Album at MerleFest 2016

Lisa Snedeker | Posted 04.30.2016 | Entertainment
Lisa Snedeker

If you haven't heard Will Overman Band (WOB), just wait. You will.

Three Reasons MerleFest 2016 Is Already The Best One Yet

Lisa Snedeker | Posted 04.29.2016 | Entertainment
Lisa Snedeker

If you are a frequent reader of my posts, you may have noticed I mention MerleFest quite a bit. For the uninitiated, the Americana music festival -- t...

The Waybacks rock MerleFest in eclectic Hillside Album Hour

John Trump | Posted 04.25.2016 | Entertainment
John Trump

Every year, right around this time, a voracious group of music fans -- a cult of sorts -- overtakes a rough, wooded hillside at Wilkes Community College in North Carolina.

Second Annual MerleFest Band Competition Features New Talent, Potential Future Festival Headliners

Lisa Snedeker | Posted 04.26.2016 | Entertainment
Lisa Snedeker

Headliners such as John Prine, Jason Isbell and John Oates have drawn nearly 80,000 Americana music fans annually to the hills of MerleFest on the cam...

For Calls, the art of making moonshine runs in the family

John Trump | Posted 04.01.2016 | Taste
John Trump

Roots music and moonshine: Ah, what a lovely couple.

Scythian Gifts St. Patrick's Day Show to Its Biggest Fans

Lisa Snedeker | Posted 03.18.2017 | Entertainment
Lisa Snedeker

Scythian, which means "nomad" in Ukranian, has been described as fusing Celtic and Americana music with thunderous energy into what the band's members call "immigrant rock."

Welcome 2016 With Music Instead of Overhyped NYE Party

Lisa Snedeker | Posted 12.30.2016 | Entertainment
Lisa Snedeker

If you choose to go out, you'll welcome the new year by listening to one of your favorite bands with like-minded fans -- instead of attending some overpriced and ultimately disappointing party.

Ancient Tones -- New Sounds Festival Makes Its Debut September 25-27 on Storied Grounds

Lisa Snedeker | Posted 09.21.2016 | Entertainment
Lisa Snedeker

The culmination of what Gabb, who originally hails from Wales, describes as a cultural heritage festival will come Saturday night when his Irish band heads up a mashup of musicians. "We want to get people out of their seats and dancing."

Red Wing Roots Music Festival Brings the Steel Wheels Home to the Shenandoah Valley

Lisa Snedeker | Posted 07.03.2016 | Entertainment
Lisa Snedeker

For a band that's on the road more than 150 days a year, coming home is a big deal. Coming home to play for three days to a hometown crowd is even better. That's why three years ago members of The Steel Wheels started their own boutique, summer music festival.

Favorite MerleFest and Rooster Walk Musical Discoveries

Lisa Snedeker | Posted 06.26.2016 | Entertainment
Lisa Snedeker

Fans have been posting all over social media they're already looking forward to next year, biding their time for these iconic Americana and roots festivals -- considered some of the best in the Southeast.

Five Questions with The Avett Brothers at MerleFest

Lisa Snedeker | Posted 06.25.2015 | Entertainment
Lisa Snedeker

At a festival press conference this afternoon, band members -- Seth and Scott Avett, along with Bob Crawford and Joe Kwon -- talked about coming home to their favorite North Carolina barbecue, sustainable farming in Cabarrus County, how they plan to carry on the Watson legacy and what MerleFest means to them.

Eight Reasons You Should Go to MerleFest 2015

Lisa Snedeker | Posted 05.22.2015 | Entertainment
Lisa Snedeker

If you are already a fan of MerleFest, then you can skip to No. 1. For the uninitiated, however, MerleFest is the younger, Eastern cousin of the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. I discovered this gem of Americana festivals more than a decade ago after I moved to North Carolina from spending nearly a decade out West attending Telluride.

Listen Up! My Favorite Americana Discoveries of 2014

Lisa Snedeker | Posted 03.03.2015 | Entertainment
Lisa Snedeker

One of the reasons I attend Americana music festivals is for the opportunity to be exposed to new music and musicians I might never have sampled on my own.

Seven Questions With Tim O'Brien

Lisa Snedeker | Posted 02.28.2015 | Entertainment
Lisa Snedeker

I had a chance to catch up with O'Brien in Henry County over Memorial Day weekend at Rooster Walk 6, where we talked about the future of bluegrass and why Americana music seems to resonate with an expanding audience.