Simpson, Price, Shovels & Rope join MerleFest
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Simpson, Price, Shovels & Rope join MerleFest

Monday, May 24, 2021 – Sturgill Simpson, Margo Price and Shovels & Rope were among the artists added today to this year's line-up of MerleFest.

The festival will be held Sept. 16-19 at Wilkesboro Community College in Wilkesboro, N.C. The fest is usually staged in late April, but was delayed this year due to COVID-19.

Balsam Range, Jim Lauderdale, John Cowan, Peter Rowan's Free Mexican Air Force with Los Texmaniacs, Amythyst Kiah, Yasmin Williams, and Brittney Spencer also will be playing at the festival.

Tedeschi Trucks (Friday), Melissa Etheridge (Sunday), Mavis Staples (Sunday), LeAnn Rimes (Friday), Sam Bush (Saturday), Donna The Buffalo (all four days), Scythian (Thursday, Friday and Saturday performances), and The Waybacks (Friday and Saturday) were previously announced.

Additional artists scheduled to perform will be announced in the coming weeks. Tickets will go on sale June 10.

Hit songwriter Kent Blazy, who has penned songs for Garth Brooks, Patty Loveless and Chris Young, will release"Me & My Guitar," recorded and mixed by Engineered by Matt Allen at Allentown Studios located in Nashville, TN and mastered by Mayfield Mastering. Kent Blazy and Josh Martin recorded all guitar and vocals on the project and collaboration of Human Touch Guitars by Jayboy Adams. The new music is available to order on Kent Blazy's website Streaming and download is available on all digital music platforms here. "This is the second record I have written and recorded during the COVID-19 lockdown. These songs are an aerial view of what I was watching in the past year and what the possibilities will be in the future. My aim was to create hope, joy and gratitude and of course, fun," exclaimed Kent Blazy! "I am so proud to have co-written "Song Man" on Kent Blazy's new record with him. He is a true song man and an inspiration to all dreamers that make the Nashville trek," shared Cory Batten. Oh, and he's now in the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame." After doing the Authentic record with a full band in July 2020, it was fun for Blazy to go into the studio with the amazing Josh Martin and do an acoustic record. Me & My Guitar tells the story of where six strings has led him and where he is still aiming to go. The project is a compliment, companion and continuation to the Authentic recording he released in 2020. The song "Me & My Guitar" talks about his guitar feeling like a gift from Merlin, just like King Artur and his sword. "Merlin" was one of the first songs Kent felt he had written a good song. It came from reading The Once and Future King. He played it in bands and doing solo gigs, and fans started liking the song and other bands started playing it. When Kent was playing in Canada with Ian Tyson, he bought one of the first Larrivie guitars which were built in Toronto. Larrivie did not put his name or anything else on the headstock, so a friend of Kent's in Kentucky suggested his wife put Merlin on the headstock. It took her three months using Abalone and gold. She never did another one! Me & My Guitar - Track List: 1. When This Is All Over - Kent Blazy 2. Just Another Old Man - Kent Blazy 3. Nashville Strong - Kent Blazy / Buffie Barel 4. Songman - Kent Blazy / Cory Batten 5. Rabbit Hole - Kent Blazy 6. Me and My Guitar - Kent Blazy 7. Human Touch - Kent Blazy // Jayboy Adams 8. Raindrops - Kent Blazy 9. The Future Ain't What It Used to Be - Kent Blazy / Garth Brooks 10. The Truth - Kent Blazy 11. The Night John Lennon Died - Kent Blazy 12. The Times They Are a Changin - Bob Dylan Stay current with Kent Blazy on his website . Follow him on social media platforms Facebook and Twitter. Music can be found on all digital music platforms for streaming and download at CD Baby, iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon Music and Google Play. About Kent Blazy: Kent Blazy is an American country music songwriter from Lexington, KY who now calls Nashville, TN home. His credits include several singles for Garth Brooks, as well as singles by Gary Morris, Diamond Rio, Patty Loveless and Chris Young. Blazy has a total of seven number one hits to his credit. Kent Blazy was raised in Lexington, Kentucky. At an early age, he played rhythm guitar and sang in various local bands, citing The Byrds, Rodney Crowell and Joe Ely as influences. He later played for Canadian singer Ian Tyson. Later on, Blazy met former Exile member Mark Gray, who suggested that Blazy move to Nashville, Tennessee. Eventually, he signed to a publishing contract, but the publishing company closed; despite the loss of contract, Gary Morris sent Blazy's "Headed for a Heartache" into the top 5 on the country charts. By the late 1980s, Blazy met with a then-unknown Garth Brooks, who gave him the idea for a song entitled "If Tomorrow Never Comes." He and Brooks co-wrote the song, which went on to become Brooks' first number one hit. Brooks continued to record Blazy's material throughout the 1990s, including the singles "Ain't Goin' Down ('Til the Sun Comes Up)," "It's Midnight Cinderella," "She's Gonna Make It," "Somewhere Other Than the Night" and the George Jones duet "Beer Run (B Double E Double Are You In?)." He also co-wrote "That's What I Get for Lovin' You" by Diamond Rio and "Can't Get Enough" by Patty Loveless in the late 1990s. Blazy, along with songwriters Pat Alger, Tony Arata and Kim Williams, recorded an album entitled A Songwriters' Tribute to Garth Brooks, which included their renditions of songs that they had written for Brooks. This album was released in 2001 via VFR Records. Other songs that Blazy has co-written include "You Can Let Go" by Crystal Shawanda and "Gettin' You Home (The Black Dress Song)" by Chris Young from 2008 and 2009 respectively, as well as American Idol season 8 finalist Danny Gokey's debut single "My Best Days Are Ahead of Me."

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