Monday, October 01, 2007

MerleFest lineup looks right on target

MerleFest attendees who are scrutinizing the newly announced 2008 lineup will find little to suggest any kind of shift in the festival's programming. Some people, including this blog, expressed concern that management changes earlier in 2007 could result in a change in artistic direction. See our earlier coverage here and here.

A first perusal of the lineup suggests a 2008 program that will be right in the mainstream of the festival's Americana focus of recent years. Artists like Sam Bush, Tim O'Brien and Peter Rowan anchor the proceedings in the progressive bluegrass mainstream. All the regulars from Doc Watson on down are in place.

Two of the acts that struck me as especially notable are Levon Helm's Midnight Ramble with special guests, and Roger Hornsby sitting in with Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder. I am also looking forward to Old Crow Medicine Show, Tift Merritt, The Waifs and many, many others.

Bravo to MerleFest executive director B Townes for putting together a very fine artist lineup for the 2008 festival.


Jomags said...

Not only does the lineup include Levon Helm, but his daughter Amy's band Ollabelle .. Awesome booking!

Dan Ruby said...

But not Gillian Welch. Do you remember what she said about Levon Helm in her New Yorker profile?

Dan Ruby said...

Wait, I just saw this on Wikipedia:

On June 2, 2007, Welch and Rawlings appeared as a special surprise guest at Levon Helm's Midnight Ramble sessions in Woodstock, NY.

Dan Ruby said...

Here's something intereesting from an August 31 press release promoting Levon Helm's new CD Dirt Farmer:

Rolling Stone's Andy Greene called a recent Midnight Ramble, "one of the most uplifting and pure musical experiences I've ever had." Levon based his Rambles on the southern medicine shows of his youth and has been joined onstage by Elvis Costello, Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch, Nick Lowe, Warren Haynes and others.

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