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MerleFest 2007 Announces Stellar Line-Up

By Mandolin Cafe
October 20, 2006 - 7:30 am

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Wilkesboro, N.C. — Ticket sales for MerleFest 2007, the Americana Music Celebration Presented by Lowe's, will begin on Tuesday, November 14, 2006 at 2:00 p.m. EST.

Wilkes Community College will present MerleFest 2007, the 20th annual festival in celebration of the music of the late Merle Watson and his father Doc Watson, on its campus in Wilkesboro, NC on April 26 - 29, 2007. Those joining Doc Watson and Merle's son Richard Watson for MerleFest 2007 will include Blue Highway; Sam Bush; Cherryholmes; Elvis Costello; John Cowan Band; Donna The Buffalo; Jerry Douglas; The Duhks; Bela Fleck; Paul Geremia; John Hammond; Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver; Del McCoury Band; Nitty Gritty Dirt Band; Peter Rowan & Tony Rice Quartet; Darrell Scott; the Legendary Earl Scruggs with Family & Friends; Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives; Pam Tillis; and The Waybacks.

Starting on November 14th at 2 p.m. EST, those with Internet access may acquire their tickets easily by visiting merlefest.org and, if purchasing assigned seats at the Watson Stage, actually pick their seat location on line. Those without Internet access may purchase tickets by calling 1-800-343-7857 (US only) or 336-838-6267 (non-US) weekdays. Tickets may also be ordered by fax (336-838-6263) and mail (MerleFest; P.O. Box 120; Wilkesboro, NC 28697). Those interested in volunteering for MerleFest should call 336-838-6414. Vendor info: 336-838-6292. Sponsorship inquiries: 336-838-6423.

MerleFest 2007 has also confirmed appearances by Susana & Timmy Abell; RG Absher & Extra Measure; Al berti Flea Circus; The Belleville Outfit (formerly DesChamps Band); Ira Bernstein; Spencer Bohren; Roy Book Binder; Laura Boosinger; The Carolina Chocolate Drops; T Michael Coleman; Crooked Still; Deer Clan Singers; Dixie Dawn; Robert Dotson; Benton Flippen Band; The Flowers Family; Pat Flynn; Forget-Me-Nots; Ruthie Foster; Gospel Jubilators; Mitch Greenhill; Buddy Greene; Dianne Hackworth; George Hamilton IV; Ginny Hawker & Tracy Schwarz; Orville Hicks; Bob Hill; Willette Hinton & the Hinton Family Band; Clint Howard; The Infamous Stringdusters; The InterACTive Theater of Jef; Reverend Robert Jones; Jim Lauderdale; Jack Lawrence; Mark Lippard; Jeff Little; Brack Llewellyn; The Local Boys; The Lonesome Sisters; The Lovell Sisters; Bill Mathis; Thomas Maupin; Andy May; Curly Miller & Carole Ann Rose; NC Thumb and Finger Style Guitar Players, Inc.; Nashville Bluegrass Band; Dirk Powell Band; Red Stick Ramblers;Roan Mountain Hilltoppers; Robinella; Jim Rooney; Tom Sauber; Shana Banana; Larry Skipper; Joe Smothers; Steep Canyon Rangers; Tut Taylor; Joe Thompson & Bob Carlin; Toubab Krewe; Happy Traum; Uncle Earl; The Waybacks; Charles Welch; Pete & Joan Wernick; Cyndi Wheeler; Wilkes Playmakers; Tony Williamson; and The Worthless Son-In-Laws. All bookings are subject to change without notice due to circumstances beyond the control of the festival.

Finals of the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest for 2007 will take place at MerleFest on April 27th. Entries must be received by March 4, 2007. For more entry information, please call 800-799-3838 or visit the MerleFest or Sonicbids web site. MerleFest also hosts instrument contests for Mandolin (4/26), Guitar (4/27), and Banjo (4/27). Twenty contestants will be randomly picked from those who register on site at the festival beginning approximately 90 minutes before the start of each contest. They will join the second and third place contestants from 2006 in the contest. The popular Songwriters' Coffeehouse again happens on Friday evening. Songwriters selected from registrants on site will share the stage with singer-songwriters performing at MerleFest.

MerleFest, a tribute to the memory of Merle Watson, has continued to evolve, grow, and improve since 1988, becoming one of the most important annual events in the Southeast. In so doing MerleFest has defined and led the way for the emerging field called Americana music. MerleFest offers a generation and genre crossing mix of traditional and contemporary roots music, bringing together the very best of bluegrass, contemporary acoustic, Celtic, blues, folk, old-time, Cajun, jazz, and singer-songwriter musics, along with traditional dance and crafts. Over its 19-year history, MerleFest has contributed $7.28 million to Wilkes Community College, while some fifty non-profits organizations net around $350,000 at MerleFest each year. Using guidelines recommended by the College of Business at Appalachian State University, the total regional economic impact of MerleFest 2006 is estimated at more than $16,000,000.

In addition to the Presenting Sponsor, Lowe's Companies, official and major MerleFest 2007 sponsors include BluegrassCountry.org; Burger King; C&J LP Gas Company/G & B Energy; Cedar Creek Custom Case Shoppe/TKL; Charter Communications; Collings Guitars; Deering Banjo Company; Embarq; Fender/Guild/SWR; First Quality Musical Supplies; GHS Strings; Gibson Musical Instruments; Hardee's/Dermox; Homespun Tapes Ltd.; iBluegrass & The Acoustic Network; J D'Addario & Co; John Pearse Strings; Knee Deep in Bluegrass; mvyradio.com; Pepsi Bottling Ventures LLC; Rayco Resophonics; Stelling Banjo Works; Sugar Hill Records; Taylor Guitars; Tyson Foods, Inc.; WBRF Radio 98.1 FM; Western Beat Entertainment; WHEE-AM 1370; Winston-Salem Journal; WNCW Public Radio; WQDR/Curtis Media Group; WTQR-FM 104.1; and WXII-TV 12.

Additional information:
MerleFest web site

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