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Merlefest: A Must See

“Merlefest, yeah I’ve heard of that! Isn’t that the festival named after Merle Haggard?” This is the “knowledge” most mainstream music fans have about the bluegrass/Americana festival that has been held on the Wilkesboro Community College campus for over a quarter of a century. If you ask a lot of musicians and attendees who return year after year, that misconception ...

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Hello Hello

There’s not doubt, the music business worldwide has been changed forever. It’s a commonly held belief that music is a universal language. Music can speak when no other language can. That language has been interrupted, for a time, by the pandemic, and its delivery methods are still being challenged today. During the lock down in Australia and New Zealand in ...

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Israel Portnoy and the Healing Power of Music

On a hot day, about a month after a forest fire engulfed the village he lived in, along with all his worldly possessions, minus only one, Israel Portnoy picked up the last object he owned (a vintage 12-string he calls “Guilda”) and began an incredible healing journey. “Maybe I couldn’t bring myself to play her as I could sense some ...

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Jesse Wilde’s Ongoing Musical Odyssey

Sometimes music grabs people at a young age, and never lets go, pushing them along from one milestone to the next along the musical journey of a lifetime. That’s how it’s been for Aukland, New Zealand native, Jesse Wilde. After seeing the Elvis ’68 Comeback Special at age 11, Jesse requested a guitar from his mom. He took lessons from ...

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Randy Seedorff: Music with Purpose

Born in a little farm town in northeast Iowa and raised in Kansas City, MO, Randy Seedorff grew up in some fertile ground for country music. The seeds that would later bloom into his current success were planted deep early on. He got his first guitar at age 11 from his mom, who was a country music artist known as ...

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Gary Pratt: Life-Long Troubadour

Growing up in a western Pennsylvania coal mining town with no red lights, one store and six churches, for Gary Pratt, music was always a passion. He started a band at age 16 and has been singing ever since. He was a “serious” musician from the beginning, as well. That first band included older people, which meant they went places ...

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Larry Jay Takes a Turn Toward Songwriting Success

Singer-songwriter Larry Jay was a guitar player first. When he heard a cousin playing guitar, he says, “I just vibrated with the strings.” He spent his younger days in various bands, honing his playing skills mostly on cover tunes. When asked about his early influences, Gary quickly names the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Neil Young and Willie Nelson. ...

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Melissa Etheridge, Mavis Staples, LeAnn Rimes To Headline

2021 marks the year of the return of festivals – and one of the biggest events of the year, at least on the east coast, is Merlefest. Usually taking place in late April, the event once again saw itself fall victim to the covid19 restrictions, and was postponed. However, instead of skipping another year, fest gowers can rejoice. Merlefest, instead ...

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Musically Worldly Influence

Although the group’s name is derived from the claustrophobic darkness of New York City’s subway tunnels, Track Dogs is actually an expansive, truly Trans-Atlantic quartet, which has generated some acclaimed, genre-bending music. Made up of two Irishmen, an Englishman and an American, all of whom call Madrid, Spain their home, the band came together in 2011 to make a unique ...

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Stepping Into The Spotlight

Many songwriters find success as other artists use their material, and never gain the attention of the listening public as individuals, either by design or when circumstances keep them from attaining that exposure. Such is not the case for Ron A. McNeill, a country/roots rock/Americana singer-songwriter who has had more than 60 of his songs recorded, with chart appearances in ...

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