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MerleFest 2014 Lineup Expanded to Over 130 Artists

Nov. 5, 2013. MerleFest, presented by Lowe’s and slated for April 24-27, 2014, is proud to announce the music festival’s initial lineup. The four-day event, an annual homecoming of musicians and music fans, will once again take place on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro.

Dr. Ralph Stanley
Dr. Ralph Stanley

As in years past, the initial lineup reflects the diversity and quality of performers that are the hallmark of the festival. Thursday night’s schedule includes the previously announced country music superstar Alan Jackson, who will showcase his newly released bluegrass album. Another legend – bluegrass icon Dr. Ralph Stanley – will perform on Saturday evening in the Dr. Ralph Stanley All-Star Jam hosted by Jim Lauderdale. Two of bluegrass music’s biggest names, Dailey & Vincent, will be joined by the Statler Brothers’ Jimmy Fortune to deliver a set of that hallowed band’s biggest hits, complete with the deep, rich harmonies for which all three performers are known.

Additionally, the lineup introduces some Americana favorites: MerleFest newcomer Keller Williams will perform with the Travelin’ McCourys, and festival favorite Tim O’Brien, along with singer-songwriter Darrell Scott, will perform hits from their new album “Memories and Moments.”

“With just this first list of performers, fans will see that we have a great mix of ‘vintage MerleFest’ and ‘fresh faces,’” says Steve Johnson, artist relations manager for MerleFest. “While we have many more artists yet to announce, we can say now that we have an incredible depth of music for 2014 that lives up to the ‘traditional plus’ lineup MerleFest attendees have come to enjoy over the years. We are especially excited to offer a few special jams and MerleFest moments that no one will want to miss!”

Darrell (left) Scott and Tim O'Brien
Darrell (left) Scott and Tim O’Brien

“And, as MerleFest fans have learned, we release up-to-the-minute lineup additions and other festival news through our social media outlets; so staying in touch with us via our electronic newsletter, website (www.merlefest.org), Facebook and Twitter is crucial,” Johnson adds.

MerleFest is known for its unique mix of traditional, roots-oriented music from the Appalachian region, including bluegrass and old-time music, Americana, blues, country, Celtic, Cajun, cowboy, zydeco, rock and many other styles that Doc Watson referred to as “traditional plus.”

The following are among the artists scheduled to perform at MerleFest 2014: 

Richard WatsonAlan Jackson;Carolina Chocolate DropsDailey and Vincent Quartet with Jimmy FortuneDr. Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain BoysKeller WilliamsTim O’Brien and Darrell ScottThe Steep Canyon RangersThe Travelin’ McCourysThe WaybacksBalsam RangeAlison Brown QuartetSam Bush BandPeter RowanDella MaeDonna the BuffaloJerry DouglasThe DuhksJim LauderdaleLarry Keel and Natural BridgeScythianJunior Sisk and Ramblers ChoiceThe Kruger BrothersSutton, Holt and ColemanLonesome River Band;The Steel WheelsThe Claire Lynch BandSleepy Man Banjo BoysHigh ValleyTown MountainTodd SniderFrank Solivan and Dirty KitchenThe Deadly GentlemanMark Johnson and Emory LesterMandolin OrangeThe HillbendersI Draw SlowChris Jones and The Night DriversPete and Joan WernickAlan Bibey and GrasstowneRory BlockRoy Book BinderFiona BoyesDarin and Brooke AldridgeShannon WhitworthNashville Bluegrass BandMissy Raines and The New HipRed JuneTut TaylorNora Jane Struthers and The Party LineDel Rey;Jeff Little TrioMark Newton and Steve ThomasWayne HendersonJack LawrenceRoland WhiteWBT BriarhoppersMary FlowerJosh FarrowThe Kickin Grass BandVolume FiveOvermountain MenEleanor EllisNiall Toner BandRiley BaugusJeff Brown and Still LonesomeMark BumgarnerBuncombe TurnpikeNick Chandler and DeliveredThe Cockman FamilyNu-BluMoore Brothers Band;ToneblazersPaul’s Creek BandSheila Kay AdamsTal NaccaratoSteve and Ruth SmithThe South Carolina BroadcastersJon Stickley Trio;Laura BoosingerZephyr Lightning Bolts, The Banknotes; Wayne ErbsenMisty River BandThe Fox FireSanctum SullyTime Sawyer;Mountain FeistMy New FavoritesKim Robins and 40 Years LateTimmy and Susana Abell; and many more.

Additional performers for MerleFest 2014 will be announced in the coming months. The lineup is viewable at www.merlefest.org/lineup.

With his raw emotions and three-fingered banjo technique, Dr. Ralph Stanley, for over six decades, has helped bring a mountain style of bluegrass music to a global audience. As both a member of the legendary Stanley Brothers and as a solo artist, Stanley has influenced generations of performers in all genres. He has received numerous awards over the years: an honorary doctorate of music from Lincoln Memorial University, the National Heritage Award, the Living Legend Award from the Library of Congress and the National Medal of Arts. In 2002, Stanley received his first ever Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance of the haunting rendition of “Oh Death” that was featured in the movie and soundtrack of “O Brother, Where Art Thou.”

Award winning Dailey & Vincent and legendary 21-year Statler Brothers member and Country and Gospel Music Hall of Fame inductee, Jimmy Fortune, will deliver a show packed with the classic hits of the Statler Brothers. The album “Dailey & Vincent Sing the Statler Brothers” garnered a Grammy nomination.

After a 13-year wait, roots fans are celebrating the latest release by Grammy-winning folk and bluegrass multi-instrumentalist Tim O’Brien and singer/songwriter Darrell Scott. According to American Songwriter, their “Memories and Moments” album “shines a light on their shared Appalachian roots, drawing on influences like the Carter Family and Jimmy Rodgers.”

“This year MerleFest is pleased to welcome music legends like Alan Jackson and Dr. Stanley.Still we continue to honor and memorialize legend Doc Watson, who helped found this festival. Through his guidance and artistic creativity, MerleFest has grown into a world-class festival. MerleFest will always honor the memory and contributions of Doc and his son Merle,” says Ted Hagaman, festival director. “As always, we take pride in the diversity presented in this year’s lineup. That is a credit to Doc Watson, who always believed that all genres of music should be celebrated.”

The MerleFest box office will open for 2014 ticket sales on Tuesday, November 12, at 2 p.m. EST. Ticket purchases can be made on the web atwww.merlefest.org or by calling 1-800-343-7857. With more than 130 acts performing on 13 stages during the course of the event, MerleFest is an excellent entertainment value. An early bird ticket discount is available through March 10, 2014.

MerleFest, considered one of the premier music festivals in the country, is an annual homecoming of musicians and music fans held on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. MerleFest was founded in 1988 in memory of the late Eddy Merle Watson, son of the late American music legend Doc Watson. MerleFest is a celebration of “traditional plus” music, a unique mix of music based on the traditional, roots-oriented sounds of the Appalachian region, including bluegrass and old-time music, and expanded to include Americana, country, blues, rock and many other styles. The festival hosts over 130 artists, performing on 13 stages during the course of the four-day event. The annual event has become the primary fundraiser for the WCC Endowment Corporation, funding scholarships, capital projects and other educational needs.