Merlefest

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doug
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Merlefest

Post by doug » Wed Apr 23, 2014 8:47 pm

Merlefest begins tomorrow. Merlefest is a four day music festival held in memory of Merle Watson. He was Doc Watson's son, and was killed in an accident. This is, if I am correct, the 26th year of the festival. It is held on the campus of Wilkes County Community College, in the town of North Wilkesboro, NC. I generally do not go to festivals, except this one. It is a very well managed festival. Bags are checked at the gate, and no alcohol, glass bottles, or pets are allowed. Volunteers do a very good job of keeping trash cans emptied, the grounds clean, and vending areas restocked. The music is mostly bluegrass, but there is also blues, celtic, Cajun , etc. Most of the food vendors are civic groups, and everything I've eaten has been reasonably priced, and reasonably good. There are several stages, with performances throughout the day at each stage. My favorite areas are the "Traditional Stage" and the large instrument tent, where vendors have instruments on display. I've never seen a classical guitar there, but there are vendors that have a few classical guitar strings, and usually they are happy to get rid of them at ridiculously low prices!
Has anyone else been? ....or plan to go?
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Erik Zurcher
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Re: Merlefest

Post by Erik Zurcher » Wed Apr 23, 2014 9:00 pm

I saw Doc and Merle in concert 40 years ago in The Netherlands. I don't remember much of it, but I do know that I enjoyed it, that Merle never said a word (not much of talker, was he?) and Doc Watson's North Carolina accent was hard to understand. Anyway, I am glad that people commemorate Merle Watson by naming a festival after him. Enjoy the festival, Doug!
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"While you try to master classical guitar, prepare for a slave's life: the guitar will forever be your master and you its slave".

Linda
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Re: Merlefest

Post by Linda » Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:11 pm

@Doug
Merlefest is one of the festivals on my bucket list, along with going to Scotland. I can't attend this year. Eventually, though. In the meantime, I hope you have a great time. I am sure you will hear some of the best country, bluegrass, blues, celtic musicians in the country.

Enjoy, and I'm sure you know to bring along a guitar, and join in the jam sessions.

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slidika
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Re: Merlefest

Post by slidika » Thu Apr 24, 2014 8:56 am

Merlefest isn't too far from where I live (outside Raleigh, NC), and now that you mention that there are other kinds of music, I may plan to attend a future one. I had never gone since I thought it was all bluegrass and, while bluegrass is okay in my book, too much can be, well, too much. Perhaps next year . . .
Whenever I am not ready for my music lesson, I call it 'facing the music'.

doug
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Re: Merlefest

Post by doug » Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:59 am

My wife and I enjoyed Merlefest. Some of the young artists are extremely good.
2017 Jason Wolverton spruce/maple, 640, "Luz Blanca"
2016 Kenny Hill New World Estudio 640, cedar
2015 Kenny Hill Performance 640, C/IR

doug
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Re: Merlefest

Post by doug » Thu May 15, 2014 8:05 pm

The dates for Merlefest 2015 are April 23-26. If you're interested in a variety of traditional music, it's time to start planning. A place to stay is the main challenge, because area motels are booked a year in advance. My wife and I usually stay in our Airstream at one of the Army Corps of Engineers' campgrounds on the shores of the lake at W Kerr Scott Dam & Reservoir. It's only a few miles away, shady, peaceful & quiet, and most of the sites have a good view of the lake. You can reserve a site 180 days in advance, and I mark my calendar. They won't begin to publicize the artist list until around November, but, if you're considering attending, you'd better start looking for a place to stay. If you volunteer, four hours of volunteer work, gets you in free for the entire day.
2017 Jason Wolverton spruce/maple, 640, "Luz Blanca"
2016 Kenny Hill New World Estudio 640, cedar
2015 Kenny Hill Performance 640, C/IR

Linda
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Re: Merlefest

Post by Linda » Thu May 15, 2014 9:36 pm

doug wrote:The dates for Merlefest 2015 are April 23-26. If you're interested in a variety of traditional music, it's time to start planning. A place to stay is the main challenge, because area motels are booked a year in advance. My wife and I usually stay in our Airstream at one of the Army Corps of Engineers' campgrounds on the shores of the lake at W Kerr Scott Dam & Reservoir. It's only a few miles away, shady, peaceful & quiet, and most of the sites have a good view of the lake. You can reserve a site 180 days in advance, and I mark my calendar. They won't begin to publicize the artist list until around November, but, if you're considering attending, you'd better start looking for a place to stay. If you volunteer, four hours of volunteer work, gets you in free for the entire day.
Thanks for the information Doug. I will keep everything in mind. We are in Michigan until November/December, but I can see it would be good to check into places to stay asap. We used to have a pop - up camper a long time ago when our kids were little...hum .... maybe hotel :)

It sounds like a wonderful festival, and I know you had to enjoy it. Did you take your guitar?

linda
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doug
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Re: Merlefest

Post by doug » Fri May 16, 2014 11:13 am

No, I didn't take my guitar. There is an area where anyone is invited to bring their instrument and jam with others, but I haven't done that.
2017 Jason Wolverton spruce/maple, 640, "Luz Blanca"
2016 Kenny Hill New World Estudio 640, cedar
2015 Kenny Hill Performance 640, C/IR

Linda
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Re: Merlefest

Post by Linda » Fri May 16, 2014 1:22 pm

@doug,

Sometimes it is just a time to listen, be amazed and inspired by all the talent in this world.

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doug
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Re: Merlefest

Post by doug » Sat May 17, 2014 12:04 pm

:)
2017 Jason Wolverton spruce/maple, 640, "Luz Blanca"
2016 Kenny Hill New World Estudio 640, cedar
2015 Kenny Hill Performance 640, C/IR

Richard Jernigan

Re: Merlefest

Post by Richard Jernigan » Sat May 17, 2014 4:13 pm

Erik Zurcher wrote:I saw Doc and Merle in concert 40 years ago in The Netherlands. I don't remember much of it, but I do know that I enjoyed it, that Merle never said a word (not much of talker, was he?) and Doc Watson's North Carolina accent was hard to understand. Anyway, I am glad that people commemorate Merle Watson by naming a festival after him. Enjoy the festival, Doug!
We used to joke with my grandfather, saying he spoke three languages: Texan English, Texan Spanish, and his cultivated Tidewater Virginian from the College of William and Mary. Doc Watson's country North Carolina accent is music to my ears.

RNJ

doug
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Re: Merlefest

Post by doug » Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:23 pm

Merlefest 2015 begins tomorrow. Last year, I was asked by a volunteer to fill out a survey. In the space for comments, I suggested that I would like to see classical guitar added. The festival has a fairly broad spectrum of music....it's mostly bluegrass, but there is also some blues, celtic, & Cajun. After the festival last year, I also contacted the Artist Search Committee and suggested a certain classical guitarist, who I feel would "fit" well with the festival. She plays a mix of classical, religious and popular music. I'm a wee bit disappointed not to see her name in the line-up. ....but I tried.
2017 Jason Wolverton spruce/maple, 640, "Luz Blanca"
2016 Kenny Hill New World Estudio 640, cedar
2015 Kenny Hill Performance 640, C/IR

doug
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Re: Merlefest

Post by doug » Tue Feb 09, 2016 3:57 pm

Tommy Emmanuel will be performing on Sunday at Merlefest. I have my campground reservation, on the lake at Bandits Roost Campground. I have my Merlefest tickets. Now I have to have our Airstream serviced, because the last time we used it, the heat/ac wasn't working properly. The only Airstream dealer in North Carolina is about 225 miles from me, so it's a trip to take it to the dealership......and another trip to go pick it up.
2017 Jason Wolverton spruce/maple, 640, "Luz Blanca"
2016 Kenny Hill New World Estudio 640, cedar
2015 Kenny Hill Performance 640, C/IR

RoryJohn
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Re: Merlefest

Post by RoryJohn » Tue Feb 09, 2016 4:32 pm

doug wrote:Tommy Emmanuel will be performing on Sunday at Merlefest. I have my campground reservation, on the lake at Bandits Roost Campground. I have my Merlefest tickets. Now I have to have our Airstream serviced, because the last time we used it, the heat/ac wasn't working properly. The only Airstream dealer in North Carolina is about 225 miles from me, so it's a trip to take it to the dealership......and another trip to go pick it up.
Sounds idyllic doug...well, except for the part about the 225 mile service trip. But I'm sure you'll make your own fun eh?

I see Tony Rice isn't playing this year. Its a dream of mine to go to Merlefest and see Tony Rice play. Or just see Tony Rice play anywhere....ah well - have a great time!
The horse, he kept running; the rider was bread.

doug
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Re: Merlefest

Post by doug » Tue Feb 09, 2016 4:43 pm

If I remember correctly, Tony Rice wasn't there last year? I don't remember seeing him? I think he's had some pretty serious health issues?
2017 Jason Wolverton spruce/maple, 640, "Luz Blanca"
2016 Kenny Hill New World Estudio 640, cedar
2015 Kenny Hill Performance 640, C/IR

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