Friday, November 7, 2014

Merlefest 2015 lineup high on roots vets, up and comers, and Carolinians

Merlefest's initial lineup was announced earlier this week with Bela Fleck and his wife Abigail Washburn and reunited bluegrass allstars Hot Rize will open the festival on Thursday, April 23.

Rockin' hill country blues brothers North Mississippi Allstars, bluegrass royalty the Del McCoury Band, SC-bred classic country-rockers the Marshall Tucker Band and husband and wife duo Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis (both established solo artists featured in the above video) head up Friday's bill.

North Mississippi Allstars
International Bluegrass Music Award winners the Gibson Brothers, blues and soul singer Paul Thorn play Saturday along with Fleck's New Grass Revival bandmate/mandolin great Sam Bush, Cajun jam favorites Donna the Buffalo, and revered guitar and mandolin player Peter Rowan who all appear multiple days.

Sunday's artists include Doc Watson's grandson and Merle Watson's son Richard Watson, the Nashville Bluegrass Band, Jim Avett, and the David Mayfield Parade.

The festival takes place on the campus of Wilkesboro Community College in North Wilkesboro April 23-26.

The lineup features a strong Carolinian showing in the Kruger Brothers, Jim Lauderdale, Avett, Mipso, Jack Lawrence, Chatham County Line, and Charlotte transplants Time Sawyer.

Other notable performers include the Waybacks, Scythian, Sutton, Holt and Coleman, Blue Highway, JohnnySwim, Blind Boy Paxton, Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys, Two Man Gentlemen Band, the Stray Birds, the Ragbirds, Black Lillies, Black Cadillacs, Pete and Joan Wernick (Pete is also in Hot Rize), Whitewater Ramble, and Farmer Jason (aka Jason & the Scorchers' Jason Ringenberg's children's music alter-ego). The full lineup can be found here. Click on artist names to find out which days they'll be playing.

Early bird tickets go on sale Tuesday, November 11. Find out more about Merlefest 2015 here.