Sturgill Simpson, Margo Price, Shovels & Rope, and more to perform on September 16-19 in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. Tickets will go on sale June 10.
MerleFest, presented by Window World, is proud to announce additional performers for MerleFest 2021, which will take place September 16-19. Sturgill Simpson, Margo Price, Shovels & Rope, Balsam Range, Jim Lauderdale, John Cowan, Peter Rowan’s Free Mexican Air Force with Los Texmaniacs, Amythyst Kiah, Yasmin Williams, and Brittney Spencer will be joining the annual homecoming of musicians and music fans on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. These world-class bands and artists will join previously announced performers Tedeschi Trucks (Friday), Melissa Etheridge (Sunday), Mavis Staples (Sunday), LeAnn Rimes (Friday), Sam Bush (Saturday), Donna The Buffalo (all 4 days), Scythian (Thurs., Fri., and Sat. performances), and The Waybacks (Fri. and Sat.) Additional artists scheduled to perform will be announced in the coming weeks. Tickets will go on sale June 10. More information can be found at merlefest.org.
About Sturgill Simpson: Since breaking through in 2014 with his Grammy-nominated “Metamodern Sounds in Country Music” album, Sturgill Simpson has established himself as one of the most daring and most acclaimed artists of our time. His music stretches across genres and styles, from the psychedelic soul of 2016’s “A Sailor’s Guide To Earth” (Grammy-nominated for Album of the Year and winner for Best Country Album) to the fuzzed-out rock attack of “Sound & Fury” in 2019, which was nominated for Best Rock Album at the 2021 Grammys. In October of 2020, Simpson returned to the music of his native Kentucky with his first bluegrass project, “Cuttin’ Grass Vol. 1–The Butcher Shoppe Sessions.” The album, which he calls “a mixtape for the fans,” was dreamed up while he was recovering at home after being hospitalized with Coronavirus, and sees him reimagining songs from across his catalogue backed by some of Nashville’s finest acoustic virtuosos. He released “Cuttin’ Grass Vol. 2 –The Cowboy Arms Sessions” in December, which features “Hobo Cartoon,” co-written with Merle Haggard. Simpson debuted in 2013 with his independent release “High Top Mountain.” Since then, he has challenged musical expectations—from recording with Kesha to touring with Guns n’ Roses— and branched out into the world of film and television. After making his acting debut in the “CBS All Access series 1,” he has appeared in several movies, including Jim Jarmusch’s “The Dead Don’t Die” (for which he also wrote and performed the theme song), and had a pivotal role in the award-winning “Queen & Slim.” “The Sound & Fury” album was accompanied by a groundbreaking anime film (an interest he picked up during his years in the Navy) on Netflix. Simpson has been cast in Martin Scorcese’s upcoming film, “Killers of the Flower Moon” which is currently in production. He also remains committed to philanthropy, supporting such non-profit organizations as the Special Forces Foundation, Equity Alliance, and MusiCares. Sturgill Simpson performs Thursday evening.
About Margo Price: Far from overnight, Margo Price’s rise is the product of more than a decade of hard work and sacrifice. While she’d long been one of East Nashville’s best-kept-secrets, she burst onto the international scene with the 2016 release of her first solo album, “Midwest Farmer’s Daughter.” The record debuted in the Top 10 on Billboard’s Country Albums chart, as she solidified her next-big-thing status with stellar appearances on Saturday Night Live, Colbert, Fallon, Kimmel, The Daily Show, and more, sharing stages with Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Kris Kristofferson, Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn and Chris Stapleton, among others. Following 2017’s acclaimed follow-up “All American Made,” three sold-out nights at the Ryman Auditorium in 2018, and a Best New Artist Grammy nomination in 2019, a lot more people want to know how Margo Price feels and thinks. On 2020’s “That’s How Rumors Get Started” (Loma Vista), she’s crafted an album of layer and intrigue to make people listen closer than ever before. Produced by longtime friend Sturgill Simpson (co-produced by Price and David Ferguson), “That’s How Rumors Get Started” brims with poignant reflections and sharp prose, committing her genre-bending roots to record for the very first time. Singing of relationships and growing pains, motherhood and the mythologies of stardom, dissatisfactions and the defiance of expectations, Price pushes her sound to the edges of Americana as she stretches out into burning psych ballads, sky-high soft-rock, stomping road songs and gospel-imbued show-stoppers. “That’s How Rumors Get Started” reached #1 on the Americana album and singles charts, Billboard’s Tastemakers chart and Nielsen’s Americana/Folk chart, earning raves from Vanity Fair, Esquire, Rolling Stone, The Wall Street Journal, LA Times, Nashville Scene and more. But in both her emotive lyrics and bittersweet twang, Price is fueled by the fear that success might be fleeting, as the hardships she’s endured along the way—from exploitative business experiences to losing a child and her family’s farm—still haunt her: “If it don’t break you, it might just make you rich / you might not get there, and on the way it’s a bitch.” Margo Price performs Thursday evening.
About Shovels & Rope: As the Brontë sister wrote, “The ties that bind us to life are tougher than you imagine.” Shovels & Rope, the musical duo of Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst, embody that bond. Married for a decade, their covenant extends to blood and beyond: as parents, bandmates, and creative collaborators who can now add the pursuits of festival curators, film subjects, and children’s book authors to that mighty list. Having released four studio albums and two collaborative projects “Busted Jukebox,” (Vol. 1 & 2) since 2008, Trent and Hearst have built their reputation on skill, sweat, and, yes, blood. Now, with the tough and elegant new record “By Blood,” as well as their High Water Festival in their hometown of Charleston, South Carolina, “Shovels & Rope: The Movie”, and the picture book “C’mon Utah!”, Shovels & Rope are primed for their biggest year yet. Shovels & Rope perform Saturday evening.
About Balsam Range: The 2018 International Bluegrass Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year, Balsam Range, has become one of the genre’s most award-winning acts. Since forming in 2007, the group has garnered 13 IBMA awards on the heels of 9 critically-acclaimed albums. Balsam Range has left audiences spellbound while headlining major festivals from coast-to-coast, selling out venues across the nation and in multiple appearances at the Grand Ole Opry. Balsam Range performs Saturday evening.
MerleFest, presented by Window World, would also like to remind potential volunteers that the volunteer application period is now open, the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest (CASC) is accepting submissions until June 15, and applications for vending space in The Shoppes at MerleFest will be accepted through May 31. Information on all of these can be found at www.merlefest.org.
About MerleFest: 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 multi-day event. MerleFest is the primary fundraiser for the WCC Foundation, funding scholarships, capital projects, and other educational needs.
About Window World®: Window World®, headquartered in North Wilkesboro, N.C., is America’s largest replacement window and exterior remodeling company, with more than 200 locally owned franchises nationwide. Founded in 1995, the company sells and installs windows, siding, doors and other exterior products, with over 19 million windows sold to date. Window World is an ENERGY STAR® partner and its windows, vinyl siding and Therma-Tru doors have all earned the Good Housekeeping Seal. Through its charitable foundation, Window World Cares®, Window World and its franchisees provide funding for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®. Since its inception in 2008, the foundation has raised over $11.75 million for St. Jude. Window World also supports veterans and the military through its Window World Military Initiative (WWMI). WWMI defines Window World’s commitment to honor and serve America’s veterans, active military and military families across the entire franchise system by focusing on three pillars: Careers, Community Outreach and Partnerships. The Veterans Airlift Command has been a partner since 2008. During that time, Window World has contributed over $2.5 million in flights and donations to the organization. For more information, visit WindowWorld.com or call 1-800 NEXTWINDOW. For home improvement and energy efficiency tips, décor ideas and more, follow Window World on Facebook and Twitter.
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