MerleFest, presented by Window World, is proud to announce the next round of artist additions for MerleFest 2022, which will be held April 28-May 1, 2022. Trampled By Turtles, Colin Hay, and The Steel Wheels will join an already outstanding lineup which includes performances by Emmylou Harris, Greensky Bluegrass, Rissi Palmer, Old Crow Medicine Show, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Steep Canyon Rangers, Allison Russell, We Banjo 3, and more. MerleFest is the annual homecoming of musicians and music fans held on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina.
Hogslop String Band will be hosting this year’s late night jam. Jam guest artists will be announced in the coming weeks. Additional fan favorites announced today include Barbaro, Big Daddy Love, The Contenders, Damn Tall Buildings, David Childers and The Serpents, Desure, Eli Yacinthe, Jake Blount, Kaia Kater, Nat Myers, Shannon McNally, Shay Martin Lovette, Sister Sadie, Tenille Townes, Time Sawyer, and Tray Wellington.
In addition to those mentioned above, the following artists and bands have previously been announced: Alison Brown, Andy May, Arlo McKinley, Banknotes, Caleb Caudle, Carol Rifkin, Charles Welch, Darrell Scott, Donna the Buffalo, Dr. Bacon, 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, Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Roy Book Binder, Sam Bush, Scythian, T. Michael Coleman, The Arcadian Wild, The InterACTive Theatre of Jef, The Local Boys, The Waybacks, Tony Williamson, Wayne Henderson, and 49 Winchester.
Tickets for this 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
About Trampled By Turtles (performing Thursday):
Frontman, Dave Simonett initially formed Trampled By Turtles as a side project in 2003. At the time, Simonett had lost most of his music gear, thanks to a group of enterprising car thieves who’d ransacked his vehicle while he played a show with his previous band. Left with nothing more than an acoustic guitar, he began piecing together a new band, this time taking inspiration from bluegrass, folk, and other genres that didn’t rely on amplification. Simonett hadn’t played any bluegrass music before, and he filled his lineup with other newcomers to the genre, including fiddler Ryan Young (who’d previously played drums in a speed metal act) and bassist Tim Saxhaug. Along with mandolinist Erik Berry and banjo player Dave Carroll, the group began carving out a fast, frenetic sound that owed as much to rock and roll as bluegrass.
Trampled By Turtles released their first record, “Songs from a Ghost Town” in 2004. In a genre steeped in tradition, the album stood out for its contemporary sound, essentially bridging the gap between the bandmates’ background in rock music and their new acoustic leanings. “Blue Sky and the Devil” (2005) and “Trouble” (2007) explored a similar sound, but it wasn’t until 2008 and the band’s fourth release, “Duluth”, that Trampled By Turtles received recognition by the bluegrass community. “Duluth” peaked at number eight on the Billboard bluegrass chart and paved the way for a number of festival appearances. When “Palomino” arrived in 2010, it was met with an even greater response, debuting at the top of the bluegrass chart, and remaining in the Top Ten for more than a year. Two years later, their crossover appeal landed them at number 32 on the Billboard 200 pop charts upon the release of their sixth album, “Stars and Satellites”. The official concert album, “Live at First Avenue”, followed in 2013, was recorded at Minnesota’s most famous venue. A year later, the band returned with the darker-toned “Wild Animals”, which bettered its studio predecessor on the album charts, reaching number 29. Trampled released their latest album “Life is Good on the Open Road” in 2018.
About Colin Hay (performing Saturday):
Colin Hay was born in Kilwinning, on the South-West coast of Scotland, on June 29, 1953. For the first 14 years of his life, he lived in the nearby town of Saltcoats, where his parents owned a small music shop before the family emigrated to Australia in 1967. From the age of 14, though still at school, Colin began writing songs, playing guitar, and singing in folk clubs wherever he could. During his last year at school, Colin met Kim Gyngell (who went on to become a successful stage and film actor), who introduced Colin to both Greg Ham and Jerry Speiser, who became members of Men at Work some years later.
Colin pursued and completed an arts degree at Latrobe University during the ’70s, and decided thereafter to strive for a life in writing, recording, and performing music. Colin met Ron Strykert in 1977, which became the nucleus of Men at Work which formed in the middle of 1979, and went on to become a multi-platinum selling music act, and won a Grammy for best new artist in 1982. The original band was short-lived however and from 1985 onwards Colin Hay became primarily a solo music artist. He has written and released some 13 solo albums, the latest being “I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself” an album of cover material, released through Nashville-based Compass Records, who Colin has worked with since 2003. He has a new album of original material due for release in early 2022.
Colin is also a touring member of Ringo Starr’s All Starr Band who is due to restart touring in 2022. At the present moment, Colin is finishing a tour with his band of L.A.-based musicians, and will soon be preparing for a heavy tour schedule in 2022, in concert with the release of his newest album.
About The Steel Wheels (performing Thursday and Friday):
The Steel Wheels have long been at home in the creative space between tradition and innovation, informed by the familiar sounds of the Virginia mountains where the band was formed, but always moving forward with insightful lyrics and an evolving sound. In 2005, Jay Lapp (vocals, guitars, mandolin) and Eric Brubaker (vocals, fiddle) joined lead singer Trent Wagler (guitar, banjo) in forming the band as a vehicle for Wagler’s songwriting. They released several albums under Wagler’s moniker, before officially adopting The Steel Wheels name with the 2010 release of “Red Wing”. Quickly staking their claim as independent upstarts in the burgeoning Americana scene, The Steel Wheels followed up this release with three more
self-produced albums in the next five years, before joining forces with producer Sam Kassirer for “Wild as We Came Here” (2017) and “Over the Trees” (2019). Kevin Garcia (drums, percussion, keys) joined in 2017, bringing a new level of sonic depth and polish to the outfit.
The year 2021 closes a chapter for The Steel Wheels, as founding-member and bass player Brian Dickel moves on from touring in order to take over for Jeff Huss as co-owner of Huss and Dalton Guitars. The band will be joined by bassist Derek Kratzer, a longtime friend and musical collaborator, to continue the mission set out over a decade ago, shaking up traditions to see what sticks, telling stories, and joining communities through song.
About Late Night Jam Hosts, Hogslop String Band (performing Saturday and Sunday):
Staying true to tradition and maintaining a certain irreverent attitude are qualities that rarely go hand-in-hand. Nevertheless, Hogslop has overcome those obstacles by keeping their hands enmeshed in bluegrass basics and a string band sensibility, while also pursuing a sound that identifies them as both punks and purists. It’s an unlikely combination, but given the talents of singer and fiddler Kevin Martin, guitarist, harmonica player and singer Gabriel Kelley, mandolin player and singer Will Harrison, banjo player and singer Daniel Binkley, and bassist an all-round entertainer Pickle, they pull it off with astute aplomb. The name alone hints at their wacky ways, but catching them live offers an ideal example of how this band stands out in any number of ways.
They thrive on crossing genres with a nimble assurance, negating the need to remain bound to bluegrass or music of a strictly string band variety. In addition to their original material and foot-stomping traditional classics, the boys pepper in plenty of tasteful covers from similar genres and beyond. It’s clear that this is a band that’s going places, and has rapidly become one of the most unique and exhilarating outfits on the scene today. “It only gets weirder from here,” Kelley promises. He’s not kidding.