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MerleFest Announces More Artists

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Peter RowanWILKESBORO, N.C. (December 8, 2015) – MerleFest, presented by Window World and slated for April 28-May 1, 2016, is proud to announce additions to the 2016 lineup: Old Crow Medicine Show, Alison Brown, Peter Rowan and Doug Seegers. The four-day event, the largest roots and Americana music festival in the nation, takes place on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, in the heart of Appalachia. MerleFest continues the legacy of Doc Watson and is a benefit for the college. The homecoming of roots music fans draws nearly 80,000 participants every year.

We'd love to talk about coverage for MerleFest 2016 and would be happy to put you in touch with artists or festival organizers. Just let us know! These four artists join nearly 100 other artists already announced, including John Prine, Dave Rawlings Machine, The Wood Brothers, Steep Canyon Rangers, and more!

Old Crow Medicine Show – Old Crow Medicine Show got its start on the streets, busking in New York and up into Canada, winning audiences one street corner at a time. In Boone, N.C., the band caught the attention of folk icon Doc Watson while playing in front of a pharmacy, and Old Crow’s subsequent all-star performances at MerleFest helped jumpstart its career. Now the band has joined the Grand Ole Opry, cut five albums, toured the world and redefined Americana. MerleFest 2016 will mark Old Crow Medicine Show's fifth highly anticipated performance on the Watson Stage.

Alison Brown – Acclaimed as one of today’s finest progressive banjo players, you’ll rarely find Alison Brown in a conventional bluegrass setting. With her new Compass Records project, “The Song of the Banjo,” and a 2015 IBMA Distinguished Achievement Award behind her, this Grammy Award-winning musician, composer, producer and entrepreneur has planted another flag in her ongoing journey of sonic exploration.

Peter Rowan – Grammy Award winner and six-time nominee, Peter Rowan is a singer-songwriter with a career spanning over five decades. From his early years playing under the tutelage of Bill Monroe, to his time in Old & In the Way, to his breakout as a solo musician and bandleader, Rowan has built a devoted, international fan base through a solid stream of records, collaborative projects and constant touring. He is a bluegrass legend who never tires of creating.

Doug Seegers – Discovered on the streets of Nashville by a Swedish country star, 62-year-old singer-songwriter Doug Seegers grew up on the hard-country sounds of Hank Williams and ended up living the kind of rough life that country songs have always immortalized. After becoming a smash hit in Sweden, Seegers’ triumphant return to Nashville has proven that the depth and honesty of his songwriting transcends place.

MerleFest has announced 97 artists so far, and there are additional performers to be announced in the coming months. The 2016 lineup ( is stacking up to be a crowd pleaser:

John Prine, Dave Rawlings Machine, The Wood Brothers, Steep Canyon Rangers, Jerry Douglas, Scythian, The Kruger Brothers, Donna the Buffalo, Becky Buller, The Annie Moses Band, Ash Breeze, Jim Avett, Banknotes, The Barefoot Movement, Roy Book Binder, Blue Mafia, Laura Boosinger and The Midnight Plowboys, The Brothers Comatose, The Brothers Landreth, Mark Bumgarner, Jonathan Byrd & The Pickup Cowboys, Carbon Leaf, The Clydes, The Commons, Commonwealth Bluegrass Band, The Contenders (Josh Day & Jay Nash), Kristy Cox, Sherman Lee Dillon, EmiSunshine, Tom Feldmann, Fireside Collective, Foghorn Stringband, Liz Frame and The Kickers, Susie Glaze & the Hilonesome Band, Grace & Tony, Britt Gully, Wayne Henderson and Friends, High Plains Jamboree, Bob Hill, Sierra Hull, In With The Old, The InterACTive Theatre of Jef, Fruteland Jackson, Jeni & Billy, Kacy & Clayton, Jack Lawrence, Wanamaker Lewis and Rootology, Jeff Little Trio, The Local Boys, Bonnie Logan, Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys, Love Canon, Bill Mathis, Andy May, David and Valerie Mayfield, Will Overman Band, Penny and Sparrow, Sarah Potenza, Lou Reid & Carolina, Carol Rifkin with John Fowler and Jeanette Queen, Sparky & Rhonda Rucker, Salvador, Jeff Scroggins & Colorado, Karl Shifflett & Big Country Show, Shinyribs, Sigmon Stringers, Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice, The Slocan Ramblers, Kenny and Amanda Smith, Steve and Ruth Smith, Joe Smothers, South Carolina Broadcasters, Stemwinder, String Madness with Mitch Greenhill, Billy Strings, Bryan Sutton, Sutton, Holt and Coleman, Mark “T”, Tellico, The Buck Stops Here, Happy Traum, April Verch, Liz Vice, Seth Walker, The Waybacks, We Banjo 3, Charles Welch, Pete & Joan Wernick, Westwend, The Whiskey Gentry, Uncle Ted White, Shannon Whitworth, The Williams Brothers, Wood & Wire and Zoe & Cloyd.

“We keep Doc Watson’s ‘traditional plus’ spirit alive each year at MerleFest by inviting artists who will showcase a wide variety of music from multiple genres,” said Steve Johnson, MerleFest artist relations manager. “As in years past, the lineup will continue to develop in the coming months. MerleFest fans have grown accustomed to the special ‘moments’ that organizers plan each year. And the possibility for ‘spontaneous special moments’ is highly likely given the combination of artists that are known to pull together onstage jams at MerleFest.”

“As MerleFest fans have learned, we release up-to-the-minute lineup additions and other festival news through our social media platforms; so staying in touch with us via our electronic newsletter, website (, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter is crucial,” Johnson adds.

"We take pride in always presenting a lineup that is dynamic and diverse,” says Ted Hagaman, festival director. “It’s the quality of the artists and performances that our guests see over the four days of the festival that, in turn, creates another important element of MerleFest’s success: people truly feel that the festival is a great value. So many music fans and families return year after year, making MerleFest a regular spring tradition. We will always work to make that tradition continue.”

Tickets may be purchased at or by calling 1-800-343-7857. A three-tiered pricing structure is offered for MerleFest 2016. The Early Bird Tier 1 ticket discount is available through February 15, 2016. An Early Bird Tier 2 ticket discount will run from February 16, 2016, through April 27, 2016. The third price tier will be gate pricing.

MerleFest was founded in 1988 in memory of the son of the late American music legend Doc Watson, renowned guitarist Eddy Merle 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 a diverse mix of artists on its 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.

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