Random DJB Thoughts
Comments 4

46 Days Until…

Jerry Douglas at MerlefestJust ordered my tickets to Merlefest 2009 – Happy Birthday indeed!

I love this music festival because it is four days in the North Carolina mountains surrounded by the best Americana and roots music in the land.  The shot at the top of the blog is Dobro god Jerry Douglas playing at the 2006 festival. 

The 2009 festival has another strong lineup.  Doc Watson is, of course, the host at this festival named after his late son Merle, who died more than 20 years ago in a tragic late-night tractor accident.  And Doc – the 86-year old blind singer and guitarist extraordinaire – is also the magnet that draws all these wonderful musicians.

As I type this I’m listening to Darrell Scott’s River Take Me, also from the 2006 festival.  Scott is one of those relatively unknown musicians that I regularly discover at Merlefest.  He’s a terrific songwriter (perhaps you’ve heard of Long Time Gone by some band called the Dixie Chicks) but is also an incredible musician.

Regulars such as Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, and The Waybacks will be joined by David Bromberg, Del McCoury, and many others.  The final acts on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon?  Emmylou Harris (on Saturday) and Linda Ronstadt (on Sunday).  Be still my heart!  Ronstadt’s set will be with Los Camperos de Nati Cano and will be sung entirely in Spanish. 

For those who like their music in English, here’s a great video of Harris, Ronstadt, and Dolly Parton from their Trio days.  Enjoy, and look for those posts from Merlefest in 46 days!

More to come…


This entry was posted in: Random DJB Thoughts


I am David J. Brown (hence the DJB) and I originally created this personal blog more than ten years ago as a way to capture photos and memories from a family vacation. After the trip was over I simply continued writing. Over the years the blog has changed to have a more definite focus aligned with my interest in places that matter, reading well, roots music, and more. My professional background is as a national nonprofit leader with a four-decade record of growing and strengthening organizations at local, state, and national levels. This work has been driven by my passion for connecting people in thriving, sustainable, and vibrant communities.


  1. Renee Kuhlman says

    Can’t believe Nora’s first Merlefest is coming up that soon! Not sure we’ll be able to stay for the 8:00 p.m. shows – tooooooo cold for a toddler – plus, I’m not sure she’d be able to show the proper reverence for the performers:) Can’t believe Doc is 86. Maybe he’ll do some of his favorites from Songs for Little Pickers!

    • DJB says

      I’ll look forward to seeing the whole Kuhlman family at Merlefest. You can’t start ’em too young. Maybe you’ll do a better job than I did at raising bluegrass lovers.

  2. Erica L. Stewart says

    Sorry to be missing Merlefest (and the lovely sewerfest accomodations) again this year, but in May we’ll be heading to Delfest, in relatively close Cumberland instead. Not too shabby a lineup either, but no Linda Ronstadt or Emmylou. Renee, be sure to take Nora contra-dancing–Elias loved it!

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