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MerleFest 2011 announces initial lineup

Article Published: Nov. 4, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 19, 2011
MerleFest 2011 announces initial lineup

The Del McCoury Band, pictured at last Friday's concert at Appalachian State University, returns to MerleFest in 2011.

Photo by Frank Ruggiero

MerleFest 2011, presented by Lowe's and slated for April 28 through May 1, has announced the initial lineup for the event's 24th year. 

The following artists will join host Doc Watson on the campus of Wilkes Community College for a celebration of "traditional-plus" music-a term Watson coined to describe the unique mix of traditional, roots-oriented sounds of the Appalachian region, including bluegrass and old-time music, and expanded to include Americana, country, "plus whatever other styles we were in the mood to play."

Next year's performers include: Doc Watson, Richard Watson, Susana and Timmy Abell, Alberti Flea Circus, Balsam Range, The Banknotes, Rory Block, Roy Book Binder, Alison Brown Quartet, Buffalo Barfield, Sam Bush Band, Cadillac Sky, Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper, T. Michael Coleman, Crooked Still, Ken Crouse, Donna The Buffalo, The Doobie Brothers (with newest member John Cowan), Casey Driessen, Eleanor Ellis, Emmitt-Nershi Band, Paul Geremia, Mitch Greenhill, George Hamilton IV, Harper, Corey Harris and Phil Wiggins, John Hartford String Band, Bob Hill, David Holt, The InterACTive Theater of Jef, Veronika Jackson, Jeff and Vida, Johnson's Crossroad, Catfish Keith, The Kruger Brothers, Sonny Landreth, Jim Lauderdale, Jack Lawrence, Jeff Little, The Local Boys, Lyle Lovett, Lost Bayou Ramblers, Corb Lund, Bill Mathis, Andy May, Del McCoury Band, Nashville Bluegrass Band, The Neighbors, Tim O'Brien, Pauls Creek Band, Red Molly, Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band, Scythian, Shana Banana, The Sigmon Stringers, Sinai Mountain Ramblers, Slate Mountain Ramblers, Steve and Ruth Smith, Joe Smothers, Synder Family Band, Tut Taylor, Town Mountain, Happy Traum, The Wailin' Jennys, The Waybacks, Charles Welch, Pete and Joan Wernick, Wilkes Acoustic Folk Society, Josh Williams Band, Tony Williamson, and Zephyr Lightning Bolts.     
"The MerleFest 2011 lineup offers an incredibly exciting, diverse and talented group of musicians, which is always our mission as a festival," festival director Ted Hagaman said. "Another goal this year is to give our festival attendees up-to-the-minute information about lineup additions and other aspects of MerleFest. As new artists are added, we will share that information immediately through our social media venues. So, staying in touch with us via our website (, Facebook and Twitter is crucial."

Public radio station WNCW, serving the North Carolina communities of Boone, Charlotte, Greenville and Wilkesboro, will air a special devoted to the artists of MerleFest 2011 on Nov. 4 at 8 p.m.; fans from around the globe can listen live at

The MerleFest box office will open for 2011 ticket sales on Tuesday, Nov. 9, at 2 p.m. Ticket purchases can be made on the web at or by calling 1-800-343-7857. An early bird ticket discount is available through March 13, 2011.

MerleFest was founded in 1988 in memory of Eddy Merle Watson as a fundraiser for Wilkes Community College Endowment Corporation and a celebration of "traditional plus" music. Scheduled for April 28 through May 1, 2011, the event is held on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro.

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