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Saturday, April 30, 2011
Merlefest 2011 - Friday
Tut Taylor & Friends
Friday at Merlefest presented a distinctly mixed bag. The high point for us occurred in the morning when Jerry Douglas assembled a group of distinguished musicians to honor Tut Taylor, at 88 one of the most accomplished innovators in roots music, by bringing together three Dobro players representing three generations and distinct styles backed by three members of the Del McCoury Band to play the music of Tut Taylor. The warmth on the stage and the joyful support in the audience represented the best Merlefest has to offer. The day ended for us with the ear-splitting cacophony of four straight plugged in bands with only the Emmit - Nershi Band presenting music that had much in the way of melodic appeal. Used to having to make difficult choices between several bands we wish to hear, Friday contained too little diversity spread out way too far for us to enjoy the festival as much as we often have.