The Infamous Stringdusters
The Infamous Stringdusters presented an extremely strong set that showed why they are spreading their wings way beyond the bluegrass festival circuit where they started only a few years ago. Their music, strongly rooted in bluegrass as well as expanding into the jam band world, has huge appeal to a variety of audiences. Their Watson stage show exemplified all the reasons they are being welcomed by new audiences and still treasured by their original ones.
When a big rock star or country star appears at Merlefest, security often tightens and the place feels less warm and welcoming. Too bad, because the chances of Robert Plant being rushed at the stage are pretty small at Merlefest. Even so, the welcome was warm and the performance very strong. It didn't hurt that two members of the band were Merlefest veterans. I'm not familiar with Led Zeppelin's work or history, but the music was strong and held a large crowd 'til the very end. Plant's second encore was the fittingly chosen "Your Long Journey" written by Doc and Rosa Lee Watson, sung with auto-harp accompaniment by Buddy Miller...touching and beautiful.