Merlefest Announces ’09 Lineup

 

Still bangin’ and
twangin’ after 22 memorable years. Salute, Doc!

 

By Fred Mills

 

Last night during a special broadcast over WNCW-FM in North Carolina the organizers
of the beloved annual Merlefest informally announced the lineup of artists scheduled
to play the 2009 festival – the 22nd such event. Among the big
names: Emmylou Harris, Tift Merritt, the Del McCoury Band, the Waybacks, Rory
Block, BeauSoleil, David Bromberg, the Duhks, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Grascals,
Jim Lauderdale, Ollabelle, festival perennials Sam Bush, John Cowan, Peter
Rowan, and Donna the Buffalo, and of course founder Doc Watson, whose late son
Merle Watson is the festival’s namesake.

 

 

 

The 2009 Merlefest will take place Aprill 23-26 at Wilkes Community College
in Wilkesboro, NC. Go to the official website for complete
details about the festival and the full lineup, along with the tentative
day-by-day performance schedules. Over 90 acts are scheduled to play, and a
tantalizing “TBA” appears in the headlining spot for the closing Sunday night
set.

 

 

During
the Merlefest special John Adair, who handles artist relations for the
festival, and Wilkes
Community College Public Information Officer Christie Hutchens, joined WNCW
host Martin Anderson in talking about some of the artists who will, in the
organizers’ words, “deliver the eclectic mix of traditional, acoustic and
roots-oriented sounds that are the hallmark of the event.” Selected tunes by
the artists were also aired.

 

 

Merlefest
is a big deal in Western North Carolina, of
course. It’s been a mainstay of the region since the elder Watson started it in
1988 using the flatbed of a truck as a makeshift stage. It’s also a mecca for
roots music fans – not just bluegrass fans either, as evidenced by the
occasional wild card such as Elvis Costello that lands on the bill. In 2008 the
paid attendance, according to the official website fact sheet, was over 38,000.

 

Tickets
go on sale Nov. 11 at the festival website or by phone at 1-800-343-7857.

 

 

List of performers (as of Oct.29):

 

Doc Watson (http://www.docsguitar.com/)

Richard Watson

Susana and Timmy Abell (http://www.timmyabell.com/)

The Alberti Flea Circus (http://albertifleacircus.com/)

Angel Band (http://www.angelband.net/)

Banknotes

Buffalo Barfield (http://www.buffalobarfield.com)

Bearfoot (http://www.bearfootbluegrass.com/)

BeauSoleil (http://www.rosebudus.com/beausoleil/)

Rory Block (http://www.roryblock.com/)

Blue Highway (http://www.bluehighwayband.com/)

Roy Book Binder (http://www.roybookbinder.com/)

Laura Boosinger (http://www.lauraboosinger.com/)

Bob Bovee and Gail Heil (http://www.boveeheil.com/)

Broken Wire (http://www.brokenwireband.com/)

David Bromberg (http://www.davidbromberg.net/)

Sam Bush http://www.sambush.com/)

Cadillac Sky (http://www.cadillacsky.net/)

The Carolina Chocolate Drops (http://www.carolinachocolatedrops.com/)

The Circuit Riders (http://www.thecircuitriders.com/)

Clack Mountain String Band (http://www.clackmountain.com/)

T. Michael Coleman (http://www.tmichaelcoleman.com/Home.html)

The John Cowan Band (http://johncowan.com/site.php)

Dailey & Vincent (http://www.daileyvincent.com/)

The Dixie Beeliners (http://www.dixiebeeliners.com/)

Donna The Buffalo (http://www.donnathebuffalo.com/)

Pat Donohue (http://www.patdonohue.com/)

Robert Dotson

The Duhks (http://www.duhks.com/)

The Farewell Drifters http://thefarewelldrifters.com/)

Benton
Flippen Band

Full Throttle Bluegrass Band (http://www.fullthrottlebluegrass.com/index.cfm)

Rayna and Dan Gellert (http://www.rayna.utopiandesign.com/)

The Grascals (http://www.grascals.com/)

The Gravy Boys (http://www.gravyboys.com/)

Great Big Sea
(http://www.greatbigsea.com/)

The Greencards (http://www.thegreencards.com/)

Mitch Greenhill (http://www.thegreencards.com/)

George Hamilton IV (http://www.georgeiv.net/home.html)

Emmylou Harris (http://www.emmylouharris.com/)

Wayne Henderson (http://www.waynehenderson.org/Wayne/AboutWayne.htm)

Violet Hensley (http://www.oldtimeherald.org/archive/back_issues/volume-9/9-5/violet_hensley.html)

Willette Hinton and Family

Jimmy “Duck” Holmes (http://www.arts.state.ms.us/folklife/artist.php?dirname=holmes_jimmy)

David Holt (http://www.davidholt.com/)

Sierra Hull
and Highway 111 (http://www.sierrahull.com/)

The InterACTive Theater of Jef (http://jefthemime.com/index.shtml)

Phil Jamison (http://www.oldtimeherald.org/dare-to-be-square/index.html)

The Kruger Brothers (http://www.krugerbrothers.com/)

Jim Lauderdale (http://www.jimlauderdale.com/)

Jack Lawrence (http://www.jacklawrence.com/)

Mark Lippard (http://www.marklippard.com/)

Jeff Little (http://www.jefflittle.net/)

The Local Boys

The Lovell Sisters (http://www.lovellsistersband.com/)

Doug MacLeod (http://www.doug-macleod.com/)

Andy May (http://www.andymay.com/bio/)

Del McCoury Band (http://www.delmccouryband.com/)

Tift Merritt (http://tiftmerritt.com/)

Mountain Heart (http://www.mountainheart.com/)

Nashville Bluegrass Band (http://www.keithcase.com/profiles/Nash/bio.html)

The Neighbors (http://www.myspace.com/theneighborspage)

New North Carolina
Ramblers

Ollabelle (http://www.ollabelle.net/index.cfm)

Out on the Ocean

Polecat Creek (http://www.polecatcreek.net/)

Missy Raines and the New Hip (http://www.missyraines.com/)

Loretta and Lindsay Rice

 

 

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