By Jesse Wood
Bill Barbour will be taking photos at the 30th annual MerleFest for High Country Press. MerleFest begins on Thursday and runs through Sunday, April 27-30.
Barbour is recently retired from Charter Communications and also previously owned two small businesses. These days he’s photographer with photo credits with Magazine33 out of Richmond, Va. and local publications, The Mountain Times and Blowing Rock News.
Barbour’s photography career began years ago after his dog died: “I hike with my camera. That’s the way it came about. My dog died and I was sitting on the couch and not getting out like I used to. So I started bringing my camera out and taking it on hikes instead of my dog.”
A big music fan, Barbour has attended 13 of the last 15 MerleFest festivals. Before moving to the High Country in the ‘80s, Barbour lived in Colorado and was fortunate to attend the first couple Telluride Bluegrass Festivals, which has regularly featured some of the familiar names at MerleFest. That’s in fact where Barbour first met Doc and Merle Watson, the latter being the namesake of MerleFest.
As for photographing this year’s MerleFest, Barbour said, “I can barely wait.”
Barbour said he plans to focus on capturing the MerleFest experience – or in his words, “Not just photos of Sam Bush.” Barbour plans on sending live photos to HCPress.com on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The weather looks awesome for MerleFest and early-bird tickets are still available on Wednesday. Gate prices begin tomorrow.
As usual, the lineup is star studded. Here’s a taste: Bela Fleck, Zac Brown Band, Transatlantic Sessions hosted by Jerry Douglas and Aly Bain with special guests including James Taylor, The Avett Brothers, Nate Harris and the Spice Creek Ramblers, Chatham County Line, Bryan Sutton Band, Scythian, Mipso and so much more. See the entire lineup here.