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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.
Merlefest is a large, complex event with much going on all at the same time on fourteen sound stages. Our coverage reflects our taste and the amount of the festival we can photograph and report on without decreasing the value of our own experience. During the next few days, I'll be posting pictures with very little commentary. Next week I'll try to draw it all together with some thoughts on this year's Merlefest and our experience there. Meanwhile, enjoy the photos, which represent a capsule of the entirety, which no one can really capture.
Wilkes Acoustic Folk Society - Wednesday Evening
Waiting for the Gates to Open
Corb Lund - Canadian Alt. Country - Opening Band
Johnson Crossroad on the Cabin Stage
Martin Anderson - WNCW- FM - Emcee
Town Mountain from Asheville, NC
Robert Greer - Town Mountain Lead Singer
Pete Wernick's Jam Camp The Staff Performs
Campers Wait to Go "ON"
Jam Camp Performing
Hannah & Nancy Crowell Dance to Scythian
Bill Young Tribute
The R&R Tent
In the Food Tent
The Del McCoury Band
Ron McCoury& Del McCoury
The Great Del McCoury
Buddy Melton & Caleb Smith
Cindy Baucom - Emcee Knee Deep in Bluegrass - Syndicated Radio