MerleFest, presented by Window World, will honor Doc Watson’s 100th birthday, and commemorate the festival’s 35th year in 2023. To celebrate the historic milestone, organizers intend to showcase MerleFest’s unique history, celebrate the festival’s diverse, genre-crossing catalog, and present unique artist collaborations to honor the festival’s founding folk icon.
MerleFest, presented by Window World, is proud to announce the first round of artist additions for 2023. Taking place April 27-30, 2023, on the campus of Wilkes Community College, MerleFest 2023 will feature performances from North Carolina’s favorite sons The Avett Brothers, country mega-star and Highwoman Maren Morris, the genre-weaving cultural collective Black Opry Revue. Also joining the lineup are award-winning MerleFest veterans Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Peter Rowan, and many more.
Collaborative musical encounters between distinct artists have been woven into the fabric of bluegrass at least as far back as the in-studio meeting of Flatt & Scruggs with Doc Watson. So it was almost inevitable that, at some point, the idea would surface of bringing together musicians from the groups that make up the rosters of sister labels Mountain Home Music Company and Organic Records.
Smithsonian Folkways is proud to announce the release of The Village Out West: The Lost Tapes of Alan Oakes, out September 24. This expansive new collection of music challenges the historical preconception that New York’s Greenwich Village was the sole epicenter of folk music in the 1960s, and brings to life the nearly forgotten but equally vibrant contemporaneous scene emerging in Northern and Central California.
It’s hard to imagine a time when the brilliant guitar playing and Appalachian roots of Doc Watson weren’t a part of the American musical fabric. A famed artist in his day and a continuing influence on American music, Watson happened into the music industry much by accident, “discovered” by noted folklorist Ralph Rinzler in the early 1960s when he was mainly playing rockabilly tunes on the electric guitar near his home in tiny Deep Gap, North Carolina.
Grateful Web recently had an enlightening conversation with Hawk Semins of The Owsley Stanley Foundation. Hawk is an OSF board member, the Foundation's lawyer, the corporate secretary, the executive producer of the box set, and sometimes he even works in the mailroom. He helped to form the Foundation after Bear died and has volunteered his time to the organization since then, working closely with Bear's son, Starfinder Stanley, the OSF President.
In May of 2012, one of the preeminent figures of American Roots Music, Doc Watson, died at 89 years of age. This summer, Sugar Hill Records will unveil a career-spanning collection, The Definitive Doc Watson, that is an expansive tribute to the Appalachian music legend.
As Tim O’Brien and Friends kicked off the final set of RockyGrass 2012, I planted my feet a couple of yards behind the elevated stage. The canopy of treetops overhead, awash in color from the stage lights, absorbed a light drizzle. To my right, the deity of all double bassists, Edgar Meyer, calmly warmed up next to the main stage staircase.