MerleFest 2013. Music. Moments. Memories. – #1

In 1988, MerleFest began as a one-night benefit concert to raise funds for the Wilkes Community College campus gardens.  That night drew larger crowds and was quite a bit more popular than expected; so much so that the festival has become a major 4-day event.  While MerleFest’s core mission is to honor the memory of Merle Watson (Doc’s son), it’s also the primary fundraiser for WCC.

The ’88 event featured Doc Watson, Earl Scruggs, Chet Atkins, Mike Cross, New Grass Revival, John Hartford, Mark O’Connor to name just a few.

Cut to the economic climate in 2010.  No effect!  Over 79,000 fans from  48 states and 10 foreign countries brought in $10.2 million!  Last year’s 25th anniversary brought fans in from all 50 states and 15 foreign countries.  Sadly, Doc’s 2012 performance was his last.

Here are a few of 2013’s musicians:

The Misty River Bend, Union Grove, NC - bluegrass, jazz, blues, folk & gospel.  They performed great renditions of "I Know You Rider" and "Midnight Moonlight".

The Misty River Bend, Union Grove, NC – bluegrass, jazz, blues, folk and gospel. They performed great renditions of “I Know You Rider” and “Midnight Moonlight”. L to R: Dwight Burks, Bud Martin, Teresa Huie, Deward Huie, Ronnie Moore

ToneBlazers, from northwest NC - their 3rd album, "Perfect Place" was released just prior to the festival.  Billy Gee, Dale Meyer, Jack Lawrence, Jody Call, Randy Gambill, Jim Ashton

ToneBlazers, northwest NC – their 3rd album, “Perfect Place” was released just prior to the festival. Billy Gee, Dale Meyer, Jack Lawrence, Jody Call, Randy Gambill, Jim Ashton

ToneBlazers - Dale Meyer, Jody Call, Jack Lawrence, Randy Gambill

ToneBlazers – Billy Gee, Dale Meyer, Jody Call, Jack Lawrence, Randy Gambill, Jim Ashton

Andy May, New York, NY - singer, songwriter, producer, educator. In 2008, he started the record label Swift River Music.

Andy May, New York, NY – singer, songwriter, producer, educator. In 2008, he started the record label Swift River Music.

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About Laurie Merritt Photography

Owner: Laurie Merritt Photography
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