MerleFest Initial Line-up Released

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MerleFest, presented by Lowe’s and slated for April 25-28, 2013, announced 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, North Carolina.
The initial lineup reflects the diversity and quality of performers that are the hallmark of the festival. Thursday night’s schedule will include North Carolina-native country rocker Charlie Daniels (with the Charlie Daniels Band); on Saturday evening, fans can expect special remembrances of the late Doc Watson, with a performance by the legendary Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, who worked with Doc Watson on their classic Will The Circle Be Unbroken album, and a special all-star tribute to Doc, assembled by mandolin virtuoso – and longtime Doc Watson friend – Sam Bush.
“This year’s festival will celebrate the life and music of our dear friend Doc Watson, who passed away on May 29,” Ted Hagaman, director of the festival said. “For the past 25 years he has been the artistic and spiritual center of this festival, so this year, we will come together as a family to pay special tribute to the man and the musician who meant so much to us all.”
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.”
“From the beginning, Doc and his wife RosaLee wanted this festival to honor the memory of their beloved son, Eddy Merle,” Hagaman said. “In the many conversations I’ve had with Doc through the years, he made clear that it was his desire to keep MerleFest as a quality event, with a focus both on family and providing a diverse collection of music. Going forward, it will be our honor to carry on that tradition.”
The following are among the artists scheduled to perform at MerleFest 2013:
Richard Watson
Susana and Timmy Abell
Alberti Flea Circus
Glenn Bannerman
Gregg 'Buffalo' Barfield
Riley Baugus
Bayou Diesel
Matraca Berg
The Black Lillies
Blind Boy Paxton
Bobby and Blue Ridge Tradition
Roy Book Binder
Laura Boosinger
Sam Bush
Calico Moon
Chatham County Line
Charlie Daniels Band
T. Michael Coleman
Dehlia Low
Donna The Buffalo
Jerry Douglas
Enter The Haggis
Tom Feldmann
French Broad Playboys
The Greencards
Mitch Greenhill
Wayne Henderson
Orville Hicks
Bob Hill
David Holt
The Honeycutters
The InterACTive Theater of Jef
Eilen Jewell
Johnson's Crossroad
The Kickin Grass Band
The Kruger Brothers
Pokey LaFarge
Jim Lauderdale
Jack Lawrence
Jeff Little Trio
The Local Boys
Doug MacLeod
Bill Mathis
Andy May
Tift Merritt
Misty River Band
Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out
Mountain Heart
Michael Martin Murphey
Nashville Bluegrass Band
The Neighbors
The New Familiars
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Paul's Creek Band
The Quebe Sisters Band
Red Molly
Carol Rifkin
Peter Rowan
The Sheets Family Band
The Sigmon Stringers
Steve and Ruth Smith
Chris Smither
Joe Smothers
Snyder Family Band
South Carolina Broadcasters
Kirk Sutphin
Bryan Sutton
Sutton, Holt and Coleman
Patrick Sweany
Tut Taylor
Rhonda Vincent & The Rage
The Waybacks
Charles Welch
Pete and Joan Wernick
Ted White
Phil Wiggins & Corey Harris
The Wild Rumpus
Tony Williamson
“This initial lineup shows that the festival will definitely live up to its ‘traditional plus’ motto, with a strong collection of internationally-known touring artists from many genres, as well as a collection of local North Carolina folk and bluegrass artists,” Steve Johnson, artist relations manager for MerleFest said. “And, MerleFest fans know, as the lineup continues to develop in the coming months, it will offer quite a few surprises - let's just say it's going to be a big year!"
“As MerleFest fans have learned, we release up-to-the-minute lineup additions and other festival news through our social media outlets,” Hagaman said. “So, staying in touch with us via our electronic newsletter, website (, Facebook and Twitter is crucial.”