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Kris Kristofferson Makes Legendary MerleFest Debut on Thursday Night

 MerleFest kicked off its 31st annual homecoming of musicians and music fans with an all-star lineup today (Thursday, April 26th). The festival returned to the rolling hills of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, with a legendary first-time MerleFest performance from Kris Kristofferson, backed by The Strangers (Merle Haggard’s original backing band and son Ben Haggard). Also on the mainstage, Texas songwriter Robert Earl Keen, funky-roots outfit Shinyribs, Wilkesboro, North Carolina-based Kruger Brothers, and Latin-tinged country group The Mavericks. Fans were also treated to performances by Aaron Burdett, Banknotes, Donna The Buffalo, and The Mastersons.

Kris Kristofferson – Credit Jim Gavenus
Kris Kristofferson – Credit Jim Gavenus
Kristofferson setlist:
-Shipwrecked in the 80’s
-That’s The Way Love Goes
-Darby’s Castle
-Me and Bobby McGee
-Here Comes That Rainbow
-Help Me Make It Through The Night
-Okie From Muskogee
-Casey’s Last Ride
-Loving Her Was Easier
-Just the Other Side of Nowhere
-Sing Me Back Home
-The Pilgrim
-Jesus Was A Capricorn
-Stay Here And Drink
Sunday Morning Coming Down
-For The Good Times
-A Moment of Forever
-Why Me
-Please Don’t Tell Me How The Story Ends
Robert Earl Keen – Credit Ryan Case
Robert Earl Keen – Credit Ryan Case
Robert Earl Keen setlist:
-Hot Corn
-Feelin’ Good Again
-Twisted Laurel
-If I Were King
-Man Behind Drums
-I Gotta Go
Shinyribs – Credit Christopher Noble
Shinyribs – Credit Christopher Noble
The Mastersons – Credit Ryan Case
The Mavericks – Credit Ryan Case