Special Collaborations for This Year’s Festival
Scythian, host of the Midnight Jam, performing during Midnight Jam 2013
"MerleFest – presented by Lowe’s and slated this year for April 24-27, 2014 – has released the full lineup of confirmed performers for the festival’s Midnight Jam, the Saturday after-hours hootenanny that has produced artistic collaborations and one-of-a-kind superstar jams that have become legendary in the festival’s history. Additionally, the festival has provided a listing of many of the special collaborations expected at MerleFest 2014, pointing out the many “must see” artistic combinations that have made the yearly gathering in Wilkesboro, N.C., so legendary.
Participants in this year’s Jam, hosted for the second year in a row by festival favorites Scythian, include Keller Williams, Nora Jane Struthers and The Party Line, Peter Rowan, Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen, Steep Canyon Rangers, Della Mae, Moore Brothers, The Steel Wheels, Donna the Buffalo, I Draw Slow, The Waybacks, Pete and Joan Wernick, The Deadly Gentlemen, Jim Lauderdale, SC Broadcasters, Mandolin Orange, Mark Newton and Steve Thomas, Town Mountain and Lynda and Pattie.
The Midnight Jam, which this year will bear the stamp of The Bluegrass Situation, is a popular hub for everything central to the modern roots community. It is considered one of the more anticipated events at the yearly festival. As in years past, the Midnight Jam will take place in the Walker Center; a separate ticket is required and available for purchase by four-day ticket holders and Saturday-only ticket holders.
MerleFest 2014 attendees can also anticipate the following onstage collaborations:
- Steep Canyon Rangers have announced that they will have several “special guests” as part of their set on Saturday night (April 26) on the Watson Stage.
- Also on the Watson Stage, Ricky Skaggs and Jim Lauderdale will join Dr. Ralph Stanley during his performance on Saturday.
- On the Hillside Stage on Saturday, fans can catch a performance with Keller Williams and Larry & Jenny Keel.
- Keller Williams’ performance on the Watson Stage Friday night will feature The Travelin’ McCourys.
- In addition to Friday’s BanjoRama event, a “BanjoRama, Part Two” will take place on Saturday afternoon at the Creekside Stage, with many of the all-star performers from the previous evening.
- And who can forget the surprise lineup created by The Waybacks every year for Hillside Album Hour.
“MerleFest fans already know about some of this year’s special ‘MerleFest moments’ we have planned, which include Friday’s BanjoRama event, Dailey and Vincent’s special performance with Statler Brother Jimmy Fortune and Alan Jackson’s Thursday night performance of his recent all-bluegrass album, featuring some heavy hitters in the bluegrass world as part of his band,” said Steve Johnson, Events Artist Relations manager for the festival. “And so many of the special collaborations that have become part of MerleFest legend weren’t planned; they came together mere minutes before the artists hit the stage!
“However, we became aware of so many interesting combinations and groupings this year that we didn’t want our fans to miss a single one, so we’re giving attendees an early ‘heads up’ regarding the ones we know about, so that they can use their MerleFest mobile app to plan ahead,” Johnson added.
Ticket purchases for MerleFest 2014 may be made on the web at www.MerleFest.org or by calling 1-800-343-7857. With more than 130 acts performing on 13 stages during the course of the event, MerleFest is an excellent entertainment value.
MerleFest, considered one of the premier music festivals in the country, is an annual homecoming of musicians and music fans held on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. MerleFest was founded in 1988 in memory of the late Eddy Merle Watson, son of the late American music legend Doc Watson. MerleFest is a celebration of "traditional plus" music, a unique mix of music based on the traditional, roots-oriented sounds of the Appalachian region, including bluegrass and old-time music, and expanded to include Americana, country, blues, rock and many other styles. The festival hosts over 130 artists, performing on 13 stages during the course of the four-day event. The annual event has become the primary fundraiser for the WCC Endowment Corporation, funding scholarships, capital projects and other educational needs."
Submitted by Judy McDonough