MerleFest announces Tyler Childers and Wynonna Judd among acts to headline April festival
WILKESBORO, N.C. – MerleFest, presented by Window World, announced the initial lineup for MerleFest 2019, which will be held April 25-28. And the festival is taking on some local Tri-State flavor as Ashland native Wynonna Judd, and Lawrence County, Ky., native Tyler Childers and their respective bands are on the bill. Childers will make his MerleFest debut on Friday, April 26.Wynonna & The Big Noise will make their MerleFest debut on Thursday night, April 25. The annual homecoming of musicians and music fans returns to the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The complete lineup for MerleFest 2019 will be announced over the next few months. Today’s lineup announcement includes Wynonna & The Big Noise, Keb’ Mo’, The Earls of Leicester, Sam Bush, Tyler Childers, Peter Rowan and The Free Mexican Air Force, and many more. Tickets are now on sale for the festival, as well as the late night jam. The 2019 Late Night Jam on Saturday, April 27 will start at 10:30 p.m. and run well past midnight, with host Chatham County Line. This very popular after-hours hootenanny in the Walker Center gathers many performers from the festival for impromptu artistic collaborations and one-of-a-kind superstar jams that have become legendary in the festival’s history. Respected by the millions of fans who are drawn to her music and undeniable talent, Wynonna’s rich and commanding voice has sold over 30-million albums worldwide spanning her remarkable 35-year career. As one-half of the legendary mother/daughter duo “The Judds,” Wynonna was once dubbed by Rolling Stone as “the greatest female country singer since Patsy Cline.” This iconic performer has received over 60 industry awards, with countless charting singles, including 20 No.1 hits such as “Mama He’s Crazy,” “Why Not me,” and “Grandpa, (Tell Me ‘Bout The Good Ole Days).” Wynonna and her band The Big Noise, led by her husband/drummer/producer, Cactus Moser, released their debut full-length album in February 2016 via Curb Records to critical acclaim. Wynonna has described the new sound as “vintage yet modern” and a “return to the well.” It’s a rootsy work encompassing country, Americana, blues, soul and rock. NPR’s Ann Powers noted that, “With her tight band behind her after touring together for several years, she just sounds like she’s home…You can just feel the grin on her face.” Wynonna & The Big Noise will make their MerleFest debut on Thursday night. Childers is touring off of his award-winning album, “Purgatory,” co-produced by Grammy Award winners Sturgill Simpson and David Ferguson, and is currently on a 41-date sold out tour across America. “MerleFest is proud to announce more than 75 artists who are part of the festival’s 2019 lineup, commemorating the 32nd year of the festival. MerleFest continues its tradition of honoring the tried and true performers that our MerleFest fans have come to know and love like Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Jim Lauderdale, and The Kruger Brothers and adding to them some of the top traditional plus acts performing today like Tyler Childers, Wynonna & The Big Noise, Keb’ Mo’. The initial lineup reflects the musical diversity and quality of performers who are the hallmark of the festival,” says Lindsay Craven, MerleFest Artist Relations Manager. MerleFest is known for its unique mix of traditional, roots-oriented music from the Appalachian region, including bluegrass and old-time music, Americana, blues, country, Celtic, Cajun, cowboy, zydeco, rock and many other styles that the late Doc Watson referred to as “traditional plus.” The full initial lineup includes the following: American Aquarium, Andy May, Ana Egge & The Sentimentals, Aztec Sun, Banknotes, Bob Hill, Cane Mill Road, Carol Rifkin, Carolina Blue, Catfish Keith, Charles Welch, Chatham County Line, David Holt, David LaMotte, Dirk Powell Band, Donna the Buffalo, Driftwood, Elephant Sessions, Elizabeth Cook, Ellis Dyson & The Shambles, Gordie MacKeeman & His Rhythm Boys, Happy Traum, Irish Mythen, Jack Lawrence, Jeff Little Trio, Jess Morgan, Jim Avett, Jim Lauderdale, Joe Smothers, Jontavious Willis and Andrew Alli, Junior Brown, Junior Sisk, Larry Stephenson Band, Laura Boosinger, Lindi Ortega, Mark Bumgarner, Mark & Maggie O’Connor, Maybe April, Michaela Anne, Mile Twelve, Mitch Greenhill and String Madness, Nixon, Blevins, & Gage, Pete & Joan Wernick and FLEXIGRASS, Presley Barker, Professor Whizzpop!, Radney Foster, Roy Book Binder, Salt & Light, Scythian, Shane Hennessy, Si Kahn & The Looping Brothers, Steve Poltz, T Michael Coleman, The Black Lillies, The Gibson Brothers, The Harris Brothers, The InterACTive Theatre of Jeff, The Kruger Brothers, The Local Boys, The Trailblazers, The Waybacks, Todd Albright, Tom Feldmann, Tony Williamson, Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike, Wayne Henderson, Webb Wilder, and Yarn. Additional performers for MerleFest 2019 will be announced in the coming months. The lineup and performance schedule is accessible via MerleFest.org/lineup.Tickets for next year’s festival, as well as the Late Night Jam, go on sale at 10 a.m. EST November 13, 2018, and may be purchased at www.MerleFest.org or by calling 1-800-343-7857. MerleFest offers a three-tiered pricing structure and encourages fans to take advantage of the extended early bird discount. Early Bird Tier 1 tickets may be purchased from November 13 to February 17, 2019; Early Bird Tier 2 tickets from February 18 to April 24. Remaining tickets will be sold at the gate during the festival. MerleFest was founded in 1988 in memory of the son of the late American music legend Doc Watson, renowned guitarist Eddy Merle Watson. MerleFest is a celebration of “traditional plus” music, a unique mix of traditional, roots-oriented sounds of the Appalachian region, including old-time, classic country, bluegrass, folk and gospel and blues, and expanded to include Americana, classic rock and many other styles. The festival hosts a diverse mix of artists on its 13 stages during the course of the four-day event. MerleFest has become the primary fundraiser for the WCC Foundation, funding scholarships, capital projects and other educational needs. For more information, visit www.MerleFest.org.