Doc Watson called the music, “Tradition plus.” And it was another weekend filled with tradition plus musicians at the 2022 Merlfest this past weekend, April 28th – May 1st. One of Doc’s discoveries, Old Crow Medicine Show, returned for a stellar close out performance Saturday evening to thousands of cheering fans singing along with Old Crow’s anthem, “Wagon Wheel.”
The annual four day event featured dozens of acts wooing audiences at each of the 17 stages scattered around the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, NC. Fan and festival favorite groups like Donna The Buffalo and Scythian kept the crowds on their feet, as well as newcomers like Durand Jones & The Indications, The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, and The Hog Slop String Band (See upcoming cover feature in Americana Rhythm issue 95).
Other popular performances included Josh Turner, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Emmy Lou Harris, Colin Hay, Sam Bush, The Steel Wheels, Steep Canyon Rangers, and Darrell Scott, just to name a few.
If you’ve never attended Merlefest, next year will be one not to miss. The festival will celebrate the 35th edition of this great music gathering created to honor Doc’s son, Merle, after his untimely death in 1985.
Next year’s festival will be held April 27th – April 30th, 2023. For more information, follow www.merlefest.org.