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Fleck, Washburn, Hot Rize, McCoury lead MerleFest line up

Friday, November 7, 2014 – Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn, North Mississippi Allstars, Hot Rize with Red Knuckles and the Trailblazers, Del McCoury, The Gibson Brothers, and Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis are among the first performers named for MerleFest 2015.

MerleFest will be held April 23-26, 2015 on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, N.C.

The initial lineup is a 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 the late Doc Watson referred to as "traditional plus." The festival is named for his late son, Merle Watson.

Other artists schedule to appear are:

Alberti Flea Circus, Backporch Bluegrass, Baillie and The Boys, Banknotes, Glenn Bannerman, Del Barber, Baskery, Bayou Diesel, Jesse and Noah Bellamy, Bethel University Bluegrass Bands, Lee Bidgood, Big Sandy and His Fly Rite Boys, The Black Cadillacs, The Black Lillies, Blue-Bop, Blue Highway, Blue Ridge Heritage Cloggers, Roy Book Binder, Laura Boosinger, Logan Brill, Sam Bush Band, Chatham County Line, Donna the Buffalo, Mitch Greenhill, Wayne Henderson, Bob Hill, The Honey Dewdrops, The Honeycutters, The InterACTive Theatre of Jef, Veronika Jackson, Mark Johnson, Rev. Robert B Jones, Sr., Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road, The Kruger Brothers, Jim Lauderdale, Jack Lawrence, Emory Lester, Jeff Little, The Local Boys, Locust Honey, Doug MacLeod, The Marshall Tucker Band, Bill Mathis, Andy May, The David Mayfield Parade, The Jason Lee McKinney Band, Mipso, Bill Mize, Moore Brothers Band, Cahalen Morrison and Eli West, Nashville Bluegrass Band, New Country Rehab, Blind Boy Paxton, The Ragbirds, Carol Rifkin & Friends, William Ritter and Sarah Ogletree, Peter Rowan, Scythian, The Sheets Family Band, Steve and Ruth Smith, Joe Smothers, South Carolina Broadcasters, Larry Stephenson Band, The Stray Birds, Sutton, Holt and Coleman, Tut Taylor, Paul Thorn, ToneBlazers, Happy Traum, The Two Man Gentleman Band, Underhill Rose, Unspoken Tradition, Richard Watson, The Waybacks, Charles Welch, Pete & Joan Wernick, Joe West and Santa Fe Revue, Ted White, Brandon Whyde & The Devils Keep and Tony Williamson.

More performers for MerleFest 2015 will be announced in the coming months.

"It's always a thrill for us to announce the performers at MerleFest each year, because we take pride in always presenting a lineup that is dynamic and diverse," says Ted Hagaman, festival director. "It's the quality of the artists and performances that our guests see over the four days of the festival that, in turn, creates another important element of MerleFest's success: people truly feel that the festival is a great value. So many music fans and families return year after year, making MerleFest a regular spring tradition. We will always work to make that tradition continue." "Regarding value, we've instituted a new pricing structure this year. Those who plan ahead will appreciate the discounts that our 'early bird' tier pricing offers," adds Hagaman.

Tickets for MerleFest 2015 go on sale Tuesday, Nov. 11, at 2 p.m. eastern at www.MerleFest.org or by calling 1-800-343-7857. An Early Bird Tier 1 ticket discount is available starting Nov. 11 through Feb. 15, 2015. An Early Bird Tier 2 ticket discount will run from Feb. 16, 2015, through April 22, 2015. The third price tier will be gate pricing.

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Crossing the Tracks CD review - Crossing the Tracks
On the jacket of his 1979 solo debut, banjo in hand, a 20-year-old Bela Fleck is laughing as if there's an inside joke no one else gets. Fleck, along with a smattering of musicians and bluegrass junkies in the Northeast, knew the punchline. With the release of this record some 26 years ago, Fleck's immense talent quickly became an inside joke no more. Rounder recently reissued the album so a new generation now gets it. Brushed up with Fleck's reflections in the liner notes, the album predates his »»»
Natural Bridge CD review - Natural Bridge
Originally released in 1982, the year he joined up with New Grass Revival, this was the second album from a young but already experimental Bela Fleck. A New York schooled musician who was as much a student of jazz as of bluegrass, here he incorporates '20's era ragtime, fleet-fingered bluegrass romps and more. The band included Mark Schatz on bass, Jerry Douglas on dobro, Mark O'Connor on guitar, fiddle, and viola, Darol Anger, Sam Bush, and Ricky Skaggs on fiddles, and Jimmy Gaudreau, David »»»
The Bluegrass Sessions: Tales From The Acoustic Planet, Volume 2
Justifiably revered banjo player Bela Fleck has a long, varied resume of accomplishments and awards. It most notably includes his 10-year association with the hugely influential New Grass Revival and subsequent forays into fusion jazz with The Flecktones that changed the perception of what could be done with a banjo. Fleck now returns to the mostly instrumental bluegrass sound of past solo efforts like "Drive" (Rounder, 1987), and utilizes some of the same pickers to round out his "dream band for »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Carlile takes her chances on feeling "Blue" – During a rare moment sitting at the piano and appropriately dressed in blue, Brandi Carlile paraphrased a memorable Joni Mitchell quote. Basically, it went that, if you listen to Joni Mitchell music and only picture Mitchell - but not yourself - something is wrong. While Carlile, who performed Mitchell's "Blue" album in its entirety for... »»»
Concert Review: The Head and the Heart go beyond the nah nahs – "Nah nah," "la la" and "Wee oh" populated a number of songs from The Head and the Heart. Yes, the Seattle-based band does pen a good amount of sing-along songs that were clearly designed that way. And while that style can certainly engage and energize a crowd, there was more to that from the sextet.... »»»
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